Friday, May 15, 2015

Electronics recycling still much too difficult

Last weekend, a church in Great Falls, Va., held an electronics recycling event. There I was able to get rid of a trunk load of old PCs, peripherals and consumer electronics that had been cluttering up my home office.
I had been looking for a while for a way to properly dispose of the gadgets. I didn’t want the toxic metals they contain to end up in a landfill or the water supply.
Based on my difficulty in trying to find a responsible method of disposing of electronics, I am convinced that most people just dump old PCs, mobile phones and other devices in the garbage.
Frankly it’s too much of a hassle to get rid of old electronics today. You usually have to find a store like Best Buy that’s willing to accept your items and then find an employee who can take them off your hands. Some locations will only take a couple of items at a time and not all kinds of devices.
I’ve said before that the best solution is to have curbside recycling of electronics, just like we do today for paper, plastic, glass, aluminum and steel. That’s the only way to make it easy and convenient.
The group holding the recycling event, the St. Francis Episcopal Church’s J2A Youth Pilgrimage, sorted through the PCs and accessories for items that could be reused and had the rest disposed of in “an environmentally safe manner.”
A local company called Shred Station Express, a mobile recycling service, was on hand to collect computers and other electronics for destruction.
I was happy to make a donation to the church group for organizing the event.

Photo: My trunk load of PCs, monitors, accessories and consumer electronics.

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