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We Buy It recycles old appliances

Brothers own, operate Pacific Street business
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald correspondent
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We Buy It

Where: 4235 Pacific St., Rocklin

Info: (916) 660-1653

The range of appliances brought into We Buy It extends from a collection of seven 20-year-old televisions to an eye kit from the 1970s and “just about anything” in between with a cord.

“A lot of people just aren’t sure what to do,” said co-owner of We Buy It Jim Koulos, who has watched his business recycle 250,000 pounds of electronic appliances since it opened March 27, 2012.

The 1,400-square-foot warehouse, coupled with its 700-square-foot second warehouse on Pacific Street, are flourishing due to traffic.

Koulos said he stumbled upon the location when he was coming out of Del Mar after searching for real estate in Roseville and Auburn to open his business after scrapping 200 tons of heavy equipment.

The location, he said, has been a great place to do business. He is thankful for the support of the city of Rocklin, too.

“I love the people in Rocklin and the surrounding communities,” said Koulos, whose business kicked off last year at the Roseville Library’s Earth Day festival, where Koulos scheduled appointments with the general public to pick up old electronics.

People understand the term “recycling,” he said, but may not always understand its magnitude of impact.

For starters, Koulos encourages people to recycle electronics for the sake of helping the planet. Ninety-nine percent of what the business recycles can be reused, Koulos said. The environmental efforts, he said, can reduce the amount of space allotted to landfills and separate chemicals so they are not mixed into groundwater.

The glass in a television, especially older ones, contains lead and phosphorous, Koulos explained. If the television is sitting in a landfill in the rain, the lead can bleed out of the screen and into groundwater or landfills.

The fact that landfills charge to dispose of items like washers, freezers and dryers, whereas We Buy It does not, serves as an extra incentive for people to turn to the Rocklin entity.

Explanations of the price rates, which are based on object weight, helped Cheryl Stokes, promotions coordinator of MDF Products, save time when her organization was fundraising $100 for the American Heart Association in January of this year.

“We didn’t have to put forth any effort on compiling any items that they would not take. They came and picked everything up,” said Stokes, who appreciated the quick response, detailed information and convenience of the process of recycling monitors, VCRs, televisions and printers.

We Buy It also fundraises outside of Placer County. Regularly, the business heads to Davis to dispose of Davis Unified School District’s old electronics to fund new electronics purchases. Funds collected to date total $1,200 among 10 schools.

Trucks and boxes are supplied to e-waste events to collect items like computer towers, microwave ovens, stereo equipment, guitar amplifiers, paper shredders and-printers. Computers and televisions are the most popular items processed through the business.

We Buy It arranges to pick up electronics from customers’ houses if multiple televisions are too difficult to transport into the facility. The business has ventured as far as Oakland and Grass Valley to pick up items and pay customers on the spot.

“We are in touch seven days a week,” said Koulos, adding that he and his brother, Harry Koulos, co-owner, are usually in the warehouse on Saturday.

The recycling firm also specializes in hard-drive certification for destruction, which verifies that a hard drive has been properly destroyed and the information stored on the hard drive is secure. A certificate is sent once the free process is completed.

The business is expanding into hard-drive shredding and continues to do solar panel destruction.