Thursday, January 9, 2014

E-Waste Recycling: A Few Options for Locals

Did you get a new [TV, Blue-Ray, DVR, Phone, Computer, Pad, Printer, or Video game console, Camera] for Christmas? If so, what did it replace? What are you going to do with the old one? As we get more and more stuff, what do we do with the old stuff? It's becoming a bigger and bigger question. And, if you're not careful, it can be an overwhelming one. Just check out this not-so-uplifting article from Treehugger:

Treehugger E-Waste Article

So, what are some good options?

Donate:

If the thing still works well, look for someone else who can use it. From the college kid down the street to any of a number of thrift stores around town, there are lots of people who could probably use what you no longer use. If you have a working cell phone, please strongly consider donating it to Women's Protective Services or other groups who serve abused adults.

DIY Recycling:

This would be a great time for an infographic:
Metrofax DIY E-Waste Recycling (Click here to see the big version)
 
This infographic from Metrofax offers up several DIY methods of reusing electronic waste and offers other suggestions for keeping your electronics out of the landfill. (I've always wanted a Macintosh fish tank.)

I was working in Northern California a few years ago and saw an e-cycling event sponsored by the City of Eureka. People were dropping off all kinds of electronic devices things to be recycled. I have never seen anything like that around here, but I have been looking around for options available to us West Texans and Eastern New Mexicans. I have apparently been looking in the wrong places. I kept looking to see what our local municipalities were doing. And it seems they are not doing much.

But a little searching in the private sector reveals that we do have some local options.

Retail Recycling:

Staples has a free e-cycling program where you can take your electronic items in for recycling:
Staples Free E-Cycling Program

Many cell phone stores will recycle your old phones and cell phone batteries. Home Depot will take your CFL light bulbs and rechargeable batteries.

Best Buy and Target want to help you to recycle some items and are willing to pay you to recycle others:
Best Buy Electronic Recycling Program
Target Recycling Program

So, the next time you are headed to the dumpster with your old electronic devices, please take a few minutes to find a way to keep it out of the landfill.

May you not live on a toxic trash heap.