Tuesday, November 27, 2012

recycling electronic trash

Hopefully everyone already has a way of properly disposing of their technotrash. A lot of people live in big cities where there's a periodic pickup of such trash that we don't want leaching into our soil and water supply.

But what about those of us who live in much smaller areas where such services are not available? And when they are, they don't take everything.

A few years back, I read about GreenDisk. They take everything from jewel cases to CDs, DVDs, to wires, cables, and small electronics. Here's a full list of what they can and can not take. Their services are broader for companies who have a lot to recycle but this gives you an idea of what you and I can do on a small scale. Designate a box for your disposed items and pack it up when full. It's so easy.

  • Media: CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs, Blu-ray, 3.5” and 5.25” floppy disks, zip and jazz disks, and cases
  • Tapes: VHS, audio cassette tapes, DAT, DLT, Beta, and Digibeta
  • Computer drives: Hard drives, zip, jazz, floppy, CD-ROM, DVD, jump drives
  • Communication devices: Cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cradles, and headset accessories
  • Batteries: Rechargeable batteries and chargers only - no alkaline batteries. Seeinstructions on packing batteries for shipment.
  • Small electronics: MP3 players, iPods, hand-held CD and cassette players, and digital cameras
  • Ink: Inkjet and toner cartridges (All cartridges must be in a sealed bag to prevent spilling)
  • Film:
    • Photographic film negatives, instant film, sheet film, Advanced Photo System, slides, Disc film, 110, 126, 127, 120/220
    • Black and white or undeveloped only: Motion picture film, film reels, Super 8, 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, 35mm, 70mm
    • Medical x-ray, industrial x-ray, lithographic, micro film, microfiche
  • Miscellaneous items: UPS units, AC chargers, keyboards, mice, modems, routers, headphones, cords, adaptors, cables, boards, and chips

It does come with a nominal fee, $9.95 for 25 lbs or less and .35¢ for each additional pound. You also have to pay for shipping. I usually get out for less than $25 total. It would also be easy to combine and split the cost with a friend. But the positive caveat? They partner with companies who hire people with disabilities to process the materials and GreenDisk uses the materials to re-manufacture their line of office supplies. A win for our fellow human beings AND a win for Earth and the life giving resources in our soil and water.

By using this fantastic service, you're not only helping the earth but are employing people who might otherwise have a hard time finding a job.

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