Thursday, May 28, 2009

No reason to throw them out

I was walking from my front door to my car a few weeks ago on a trash pickup day when I saw that our neighbor had put out an old computer monitor in their pile of other trash. Then I saw another neighbor had put out this gigantic plastic container that held cooking oil - the kind you use to fill a turkey fryer. Although I felt a little weird about it, I scooped up the plastic container and brought it back to my house to put in our recycling, but even though I felt bad about it I didn't do anything with the computer monitor. Even though I'd researched what to do with old equipment before, in that moment I couldn't quite figure out what I should do, if anything. Guess I might want to wake up a little bit more before going out to drive to work huh?

This morning I'm scrolling through my reader and I come across a podcast from Consumer Reports on electronics recycling. After taking the time to listen to it (really short, go ahead - it won't hurt a bit) I went to the site they suggested - the Electronics Industry Association. On their site you can look up no-charge electronics recycling programs for your state. I know I should have grabbed that monitor out of the trash and held it until I figured out what to do with it, and now I'll not have the excuse of ignorance again. And neither will you! :)

In doing a little digging for this post, I was saddened to see that Costco had "temporarily" suspended its electronics recycling program, but was very glad to see that BestBuy still had theirs going strong.

Thinking a bit more on the regular old recycling front - for a long time I've been annoyed/saddened/bewildered by the fact that we are the only house, among the 16 that are in our immediate court in our development, that regularly put out household recycling for pickup. Quite often the five of us use enough recyclable materials to fill two good sized Rubbermaid plastic bins. Yup, no official recycling containers for us, we got these at Target and they've worked out just fine.

As I started thinking about this today I wondered why more of our neighbors don't put out recycling, and I thought that I might be able to start something here. So, I looked up the name of our City's Director of Public Works and send him an email asking if he might be able to provide us with a bin for each house. I promised him I would work with my neighbors to help them understand the rules for our recycling program so it wouldn't be a spray and pray type situation. We'll see where it goes, and I anticipated that he's going to bring up the old City vs. Homeowner's Association argument - as in whose responsible for us - but in my letter to him I made mention to the fact that I was pretty sure we were all City residents, and I was equally sure that I paid City taxes, so hopefully that will nip that argument in the bud.

Here's hoping anyway...

1 comment:

morninglight mama said...

Yeah, I remember calling the public works department about this, and they said that since we're in a HOA and have a privately contracted trash/recycling pickup, we are not eligible for a free recycle bin. But, they'll gladly sell us one, for I don't remember how much- $10 or so?

I hope they take you up on your idea-- it's a fantastic one!! And don't forget-- our town has a monthly (or bi-monthly?) electronics recycling pickup at the Municipal building. :)