Condo Blues: How to Purge and Recycle Old Electronics

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Purge and Recycle Old Electronics

I swear our house is shrinking. Once upon a time, had storage space to burn. (Don’t. It wastes a perfectly good space and might catch the rest of your house on fire.)

It didn’t take any great detective work to determine why our house is shrinking. The answer is easy.

We have stuff we don’t think/aren’t sure if there is a place to recycle or responsibly dispose of it. The last time I checked this wasn't the case, or if there was such an animal, it was only accepted those things on that one day during a full moon when cows do backward sneezes kind of thing. Hello hazardous household waste collection, I’m talking to you.

It was easier to shove our dead and outdated electronics and appliance in a closet for Someday. Someday I’ll find time to try to fix it. Someday I’ll deal with it. Someday my Prince will come…

Scratch that. My Prince is already here. Never mind.

Moving on.

It’s only by chance I skimmed a small local newspaper and read about a recycling event where several agencies got together to allow folks to drop off everything from thrift store donations, to dead CFLs and appliances, to hazardous household waste in one central location.  Turns out as more people became aware of what we should not automatically chuck into the landfill, businesses and agencies starting popping up and changing their drop off dates to make it convenient for the average person.

Welcome to my Antique Computer Museum

Time. To. Purge!

Once upon a time, before we took our phones everywhere and they did everything, we had to use a thing called a PDA (Personal Data Assistant) to do everything but make a mobile phone call.

We used software instead of apps for important things like The Dilbert Daily, backed up our data on modules and synced our Palm Pilots to our computers instead of the cloud. People like me who depended on our Handsprings to keep track of everything used folding keyboards to take notes because laptops were to heavy to lug around, and bought special snap on camera modules to take blurry photos and  make us feel bleeding edge. Ah, memories!

I killed two original Palm Pilots before I ended up with this arsenal of organization.

Even the greenest homes may still have items that need to be disposed of at a household hazardous waste facility. All but four of our items are car related. How we ended up with four bottles of brake fluid I will never know. Neither Husband nor I claim we bought them.

Our thrift stores stopped accepting picture tube TVs. I am excited to learn there is a company that will recycle our old tube TV. They also accept dead small appliances (bye bye kitchen stuff!) and a host of other electronics (your eyes aren't deceiving you there are TWO VCRs in the lower right corner and a DVD player)  and miscellaneous power cords and computer cables.

There are 50 computer and power cords in bag in the lower right hand corner.

One of the more embarrassingly old collections is our antique software collection. A big chunk of this is mine. We have Flash 5, Dreamweaver 3, an ancient Adobe Suite, three versions of Windows XP and a slew of computer books on how to  use the now outdated software.

The thing that kills me is after shelling out serious cashola for software I’m supposed to own, I can’t donate it after I’m finished with it like I can old clothes and every other item I own. Copyright laws being as they are, you can’t donate or resell old software. It bothers me that this pile could have been put to use on older machine years ago when I wanted to donate it. 

The moral to this organizing story? Don’t assume.

If your city doesn’t have a recycling program for a hard to recycle item when you checked in the past, they may have gotten with the program and developed a program or a local business might have opened to fill the void.

You might enlarge your house without a major remodel!

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