Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Turning the tide on the e-waste tsunami!

Did you know that estimated 2.2 million tons of computer, televisions, and other electronic equipment are discarded into US landfills each year? The upcoming conversion of analog to digital will likely add to this e-waste tsunami. To avoid mercury, lead, and other known carcinogens contaminating our local ground water supply follow these easy e-tips from Better World Betty:

For businesses, Computer Recycling of Virginia will pick up all electronics for a fuel fee. After refurbishing, they donate equipment to schools and non-profits throughout Virginia, or sell them in their self-sustaining store in Harrisonburg. Icing on the cake: a no-landfill guarantee (check www.recycle4va.com or call 540-564-1990)

*Computers for Kids (www.computersforkids.net or call 817-1121), a local non-profit dedicated to mentoring disadvantaged kids, gladly accepts a variety of computer equipment (sorry no TVs) including laptops, desktops, and monitors. Note: both offer to properly wipe out your hard drive.

*AmVets will pick up TVs and other functioning electronics, transport, and sell to Richmond’s Fantastic Thrift store, then donate the money to Vietnam Veterans (call 1-800- 448-9870).

*Both Goodwill stores accept computers (no TVs).

If all else fails, Crutchfield will recycle for a nominal fee; however, after transporting, dismantling, recycling, and refurbishing, “some” parts may end up in a New Jersey landfill.

Two more computer recycling options: Staples will e-cycle for a $10 fee and at Office Depot you purchase the e-cycle box (sizes and prices from $5-$15) and they’ll do the rest.

Now those old electronics can stop collecting dust in your valuable storage space!


{Many companies have begun to offer free take-back programs, unfortunately Betty’s sleuthing found that none of the local big box companies participate.}


Cat said...

Hi Teri! Here's another idea to add to your list: instead of trading in a perfectly good analog TV for a new digital one, save the landfills, your pocketbook and your thinking cells by getting a $40 coupon for a digital converter box (https://www.dtv2009.gov/) - the new box will cost you a one time $20 out-of-pocket fee (when you get the coupon), you keep your already fabulous TV out of the landfill, and you can ditch the costly monthly cable or satellite fee for 10-15 absolutely free, brilliantly digital channels, including 3 PBS stations! Yippee!

BWB said...

Thanks so much for adding this. I didn't have space in the column and blatantly forgot to include it in the blog. Excellent work, Cat!