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What's the Best Way to Recycle Old Tech in the US?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the reuse-for-reduction dept.

Upgrades 255

Tim Danhamn writes "SmartPlanet.com, a green-focused Web site, has put up an article about the best way to recycle your old tech, including local recycling centers and reusing old technology in other ways. I'm about to upgrade to a new PC and I have a lot of old radios, MP3 players and other electronic goods lying around the house. The article though is mostly about solutions in the UK, so I want to know - what is the best way to recycle old tech in the US?"

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255 comments

Damn (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382679)

Was going to say "put Linux on it and repurpose", but you're talking about actual junk equipment that can't be salvaged in that way.

Re:Damn (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382805)

Realistically....I generally pile it all up with the rest of the trash for the garbage men to pick up. But, I leave it on top, in plain sight. Usually by morning...someone has come along and grabbed most of what is good...and the rest...goes in the garbage truck.

I don't think I've ever had a monitor or computer make it through the night without a 'dumpster' diver type grabbing it for themselves....

Re:Damn (4, Funny)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383393)

Somewhat on topic...

Some friends of mine worked in a retail store, and had an old dot matrix printer that still worked, but they were done with. They put it out by the dumpster with a "free" sign on it. It sat by the dumpster for weeks, until one of them went out and put a "$10, inquire inside" sign on it, and it walked off within the hour.

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383733)

Ah, life in these United States.

What, are you Paul Harvey, or something?

"And now you know.... the REST of the story!"

Re:Damn (3, Insightful)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383499)

You do realize that the reason you're supposed to recycle your electronics properly is to keep heavy metals out of the environment. You mention that dumpster divers take most of the stuff, but anything they don't take ends up in the landfill. I'm not trying to harp on you, but if you throw out old electronics this way out of laziness, you should know the consequences on the environment.

And we all know that heavy metals come from? (-1, Troll)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383735)

Yep, chrome, lead, etc definitely DO NOT from the environment, so how DARE we put them BACK into the environment. They materialize inside computers out of thin air.

Kind of how maggots used to materialize on steaks during the Middle Ages, until some smartass decided to put some gauze on top of a jar containing a rotten steak... voila, flies on gauze, no maggots on steak... hot diggety damn! Science at work!

Re:Damn (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382877)

This is a nice sentiment but not everyone needs *another* linux server hanging around sucking up power. If you need more than one linux machine for personal use (aside from your desktop of choice), you are doing it wrong.

Re:Damn (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382953)

This is a nice sentiment but not everyone needs *another* linux server hanging around sucking up power. If you need more than one linux machine for personal use (aside from your desktop of choice), you are doing it wrong.
I dunno. SETI@Home and Folding@Home run better if they are the only app running.

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383231)

Er, really? Let's see. I have this desktop (Ubuntu 7.10) and my NAT box which also does FTP (FC2). O.K so far...but I wouldn't mind a file server. I could shove Samba on the NAT box, but to me that would be doing it wrong. If I had the fileserver I wouldn't mind a MythTV headbox downstairs as well. So that's four I can think of so far.

Oh yeah, development systems. I'll be doing some development over the next year and I know I'll need at least one dedicated machine for testing (system & integration). So five, at least.

I do it wrong!

I know, I know! (5, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382683)

what is the best way to recycle old tech in the US?

EBay.

Seriously, what better way to not trash something by getting what life (or parts) are left in it?

People get some good money for hardly working/not working tech on EBay just for parts alone. And hell, you may have no use for that old P350 but someone else on there just might. Why not let them have it for a few bucks+shipping?

Re:I know, I know! (4, Informative)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382913)

Good idea, but is it cost-effective if you only have a few items to sell? Can I be certain that I won't end up paying listing fees and failing to get rid of the equipment? Not to mention the hassle arranging shipping for bulky items. No doubt a million people will post this but a good solution which gets the equipment to people in the local area is Freecycle [freecycle.org].

Re:I know, I know! (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383091)

A couple years ago I tried to get rid of a 166mhz Dell running Redhat 6.5 (it couldn't take anything newer than that) on Freecycle. Couldn't give the thing away, and this was in a college town. The local thrift stores wouldn't take anything more than 5 years old, either. Luckily, my school started a computer recycling program so I was finally able to give it them.

Re:I know, I know! (2, Insightful)

Tore S B (711705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383279)

Speaking as a computer history freak - Pentium 166s are not old enough to be fun, and they're too old to be useful.

They're outdone by embedded chips in washing machines. No, really.

Re:I know, I know! (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383459)

Actually, they are right smack dab in the sweet spot for classic PC gaming, which are notoriously difficult to get running under windows or in emulation programs because they heavily direct access to video hardware, dos interupts, and required as much of that 640kb main memory as you could possibly give it [I recall having autoexec/config setups that dropped support for the CDrom, and used an 8kb mouse driver to run a particular game that actually came on CD. I had to do a full install of the game from CD, and then run the game without CD support in order to have enough RAM. These games were also pretty cpu clock sensitive.

I keep series of early PCs around for precisely this reason. Getting games like XCOM, Masters of Orion II, Might and Magic IV, Star Control II, Echelon, Privateer I/II, Wing Commander I/II/III, etc, etc can excruciatingly hard to get going without sound issues, with the proper framerate, with multiplayer (null modem) support etc...

I can be almost impossible unless running on real hardware from the era.

A P166 would make a good platform for late dos era games, and early win95 games.

Re:I know, I know! (4, Informative)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383123)

If Ebay isn't cost effective for you, then you can always try Craigslist [craigslist.org], if a subnet exists for your area. It's free to post ads, and you get the benefit of dealing locally. I've sold or given away hardware this way before to ensure it doesn't wind up in a landfill. Your contact info is anonymous (until you reply to responses). It's good to be able to make the exchange face-to-face rather than over email only. Of course, the usual "Don't be Stupid" rules apply to scams and jerks, etc. I highly recommend it.

Re:I know, I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383359)

Also could try a place called second rotation http://www.secondrotation.com/ [secondrotation.com]. They pay between 20% and 40% below what you would expect to get on ebay for an item, but you don't have the hassle of shipping or transaction fees. They send you a box, you send them the goodies, and they pay you.

disclaimer: I am not affiliated with them and have never used the service. A friend interviewed for a job there is how I heard of it.

Re:I know, I know! (2, Informative)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382985)

"Seriously, what better way..."

Here's a better way: http://www.wwcs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=cr_home [wwcs.org]. They use the stuff to train at-risk youth in the tech trades. Drop-offs are free, pickups have a small fee ($150 for a semi-load -- they even palletize for you!). I send about 3 semis worth to them each year. The link is to a place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They might be able to help you find a similar program in your area.

Ebay and Craigslist and... (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383059)

...and maybe even usenet. And whatever similar sources you like.

The best recycling is always as close to original use as possible. Free stuff gets picked up pretty fast from craigslist in my experience (used to work for usenet, but the spammers and jerks ran everyone off). You can always put stiplations on it, which aren't binding, but at least encourage people.

I recently got rid of over 6 linear feet of technical books I no longer need this way, and several old computers. A geek picked the books up, and will sell or donate the ones he doesn't need (it was an all or nothing pickup). The computers went to a guy who reuses all the good parts to put together computers for himself, friends, whoever. I didn't even ask if he charges; I just needed them gone and he'll use them as much as possible.

Ebay and Craigslist and...NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383563)

I noticed you left NASA out of your list. They have some old tech that needs maintenance.

The Green Zone (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382701)


    here [whitehouse.org].

Send it to China ... It'll come back... (4, Informative)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382725)

Scarily enough, even "recyclers" may not be doing the right thing here. I've enclosed an interesting link from the NPR series "Consumed" which talks about how
the US sends vast electronic garbage to China, and how some of the materials may be finding their way back here, in a not-so good way.

link [publicradio.org]

Re:Send it to China ... It'll come back... (3, Interesting)

TallMatt (818744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382815)

Most recyclers will take circuit boards (PCB's) and give you decent money for them. They melt them down to get all the copper out. Copper is not cheap.

Re:Send it to China ... It'll come back... (3, Informative)

untorqued (957628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383689)

The Electronics Takeback Coalition [computertakeback.com] runs a computer takeback campaign and maintains a list of electronics recyclers [computertakeback.com] who they have deemed "responsible" based on a pledge the listed recyclers have signed onto. The pledge includes no exporting, no sending to prisons (where labor safety standards are often nonexistent or unenforced), and not sending it to landfills or incinerators.

Here in San Francisco, I regularly bring recycling to Computer Recycling Center [crc.org] dropoffs. They even do pickups if you have at least 10 items to recycle at once.

Re:Send it to China ... It'll come back... (4, Interesting)

snowblind (175857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383801)

I was in Tokyo this summer and met a woman from Hong Kong who was giving a presentation at the university on how polluted areas of China are getting because of all the computer trash. The United States and Japan are the two worst offenders of this.

China's idea of "recycling" is having lower income people burn the old parts in open drums to reclaim the metals. This process dumps tons of burned plastic residue, PCB's and metals such as mercury all over the local landscape. There are areas of China that are becoming almost inhabitable. Birth defects are increasing. The study she did went so far as to measure the significant increase in these chemicals in breast milk.

For most of these chemicals they were tracking, the only places in the world that higher concentrations in the environment were in areas of Taiwan where a lot of this is manufactured.

From a financial perspective US companies that are moving manufacturing to China are not really saving any money on the manufacturing costs. (My wife worked in the finance department for a major power tool manufacturer and others have shared similar stories) Where they are saving money is in not having to provide all the controls and filters that the EPA is requiring at their facilities. The Chinese government has been willing to sell the future health of the country in the name of economic progress. And American companies are all too willing to oblige.

"Freecycle" (5, Informative)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382731)

One great way is just to give it away to anyone who wants it. Try this link to Freecycle [freecycle.org], where there's a list of groups for areas within the US and around the world.

Re:"Freecycle" (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382901)

Freecycle is unbelievable.

Every time we have listed something, I said to myself "there is no way anyone wants that crap." And every time we immediately get multiple takers.

We listed the plants in a flowerbed we were going to pave over and within a couple of days someone came to our house, dug them out and carted them off.

Re:"Freecycle" (1)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382981)

Agreed. Truly amazing how many people want the junk I've given away. I've yet to get anything, because the response for items offered is so overwhelming that I'm always too late responding. It feels great to know that the workable items that would otherwise be landfill fodder are still in use somewhere. Old storm doors, old vacuum cleaners, old printers, you name it.

The key is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382761)

To find someone geekier than you are, that will gleefully take your used goods off your hands.

Sadly I have boxes and boxes of accumulated crap... :bangs head:

Freegeek! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382763)

Freegeek [freegeek.org], in Portland, Oregon, is the best recycling option around. They recycle old monitors and equipment in an environmentally safe way. They use functional equipment to train people to work on hardware and install open source operating systems. Volunteers earn a refurbished system after volunteering 24 hours of time.

Re:Freegeek! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383699)

Booyah!

Nooooooooo! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382773)

As much as I like recycling. There are collectors for EVERYTHING. Please do a minimum search, even on eBay to see if someone would like to buy your "junk" before you consider sending it to get recycled. I collect old DEC computers (PDP & VAX) and I've seen too many good old "classic" computers get recycled that lots of people would probably enjoy tinkering with. Old radios are probably the same. One mans junk is another mans collectable

TDz.

Re:Nooooooooo! (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383103)

"I collect old DEC computers (PDP...." We know its you, RMS. Let it go man, let it go.

Re:Nooooooooo! (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383337)

hahaha, no sorry, I'm not RMS...that's why I signed my Anonymous Coward post with "TDz" which stands for my real slash id: ThomasDz
(I was too lazy to sign in)

Re:Nooooooooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383235)

Too bad we're both anonymous cowards... I know of someone with a fairly decent stash of PDP-11/73 stuff they need to sell soon...

Nooooooooo!-Recycling history. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383651)

Anyone have any old LISP or Smalltalk machines, complete with software?

Disposal (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382777)

I usually dump it in the trash. Sometimes the trashmen won't take it. There is a deep lake nearby.

My Process (0)

sanimalp (965638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382787)

I put all my old junk in the trunk of my car and try to pass it off to unsuspecting passers-by in a target parking lot.

Leave it on the doorstep / end of drive, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382811)

It'll be stolen soon enough, and within a couple of days it'll be sitting in front of a happy new owner who thought they got it for a bargain price.

I've shifted loads of old junk like this over the years. Cracks me up every time.

The mail lady is a particularly good collector of kids toys, and she has a nice big white van to load them into. Sure, beats the hell of dealing with morons on craigslist!

Support/promote local recycling initiatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382825)

The small town I grew up in has a recycling facility for electronics, and similar proposals have been floated in the much larger city I now live. Really, I think that's the best way to go. I believe there are equipment-removal services that do recycling as well, but you generally have to pay for those directly.

You can still reuse parts from a older system..... (3, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382837)

Like

DVD / DVD rw drives are still useful in new systems.

Your old floppy drive will still work in your new system.

Older HD can go in to ext cases or be used as a temp / swap disk in new system as well.

Old mac G4 and G5 parts sell good on ebay like the cpus with HS, MB as well the PSU's and cases also DDR 1 ram is still used in many systems older but still in use systems.

High end sounds that a 1-2 years old are still better then todays on board sound.

Other pci cards that you used in the past likely will still work in your new system.

You use also reuse a old case and the fans from it in a new system as well.

Re:You can still reuse parts from a older system.. (1)

mac1235 (962716) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383249)

People still use floppies?

Re:You can still reuse parts from a older system.. (1)

adminstring (608310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383541)

Unfortunately you sometimes may still need a floppy to flash a BIOS or install a driver during setup. Or to keep your drink from leaving a ring on the tabletop.

Re:You can still reuse parts from a older system.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383593)

DVD / DVD rw drives are still useful in new systems. Presuming your new (probably Serial-ATA) system supports the old (likely Parallel ATA) drives, possibly through your old PCI ATA controller card. Your old floppy drive will still work in your new system. Presuming your 2007-vintage motherboard still supports Floppy drives, and has a connector for them. Older HD can go in to ext cases or be used as a temp / swap disk in new system as well. again, presuming your new (probably Serial-ATA) system supports the old (likely Parallel ATA) drives, possibly through your old PCI ATA controller card.

Re:You can still reuse parts from a older system.. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383627)

The upcoming Nforce and ATI chipsets still have build ide unlike Intel with fores MB to use a 3rd party chip for ide.

Floppy drive ports are still on new boards.

Craigslist (1)

Endloser (1170279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382853)

Check out craigslist.org and see if there is a craigslist in your area. If so put it up for free. Some people will take completely broken equipment to scrap for the gold and other valuable recyclables.
While I am not trying to say this is the only or best means to recycle your goods, it is definitely a viable option.

Well packed. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382875)

" what is the best way to recycle old tech in the US?""

Give it to a pack rat. They'll pile it up with their other...treasures. Soon you'll read about the guy who couldn't get out of his house because the doors and windows were blocked.

Re:Well packed. (1)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383387)

Give it to a pack rat. They'll pile it up with their other...treasures. Soon you'll read about the guy who couldn't get out of his house because the doors and windows were blocked.
According to my wife, I am that guy. But I have been "advised" to change my ways.

In Portland Oregon use FREE GEEK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21382885)

Here in Portland Oregon you can donate it to free geek working or not. They test everything out using volunteer labor, and after 24 hours of volunteering people earn a free computer. They also can access the internet and learn about how to use a computer at the free geek lab. Find out more at http://freegeek.org/ [freegeek.org]

Working computer (2, Informative)

kanwisch (202654) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382915)

Donating it to a non-profit organization is a possibility. The one I volunteer for is very picky since we have funds to have up-to-date materials but many do not. Further, some have the volunteers to reimage them as basic web browsers for less fortunate families who receive them as handouts. Of course, it has to be working.

This idea falls into the "Local Charity Shops". The main targets are probably either very large churches, private schools, and maybe very small churches. Heck, even the local Animal Shelter might be able to use an extra system. And then you could write-off some nominal sum on your taxes too.

Re:Working computer (1)

jackpot777 (1159971) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383495)

+1 in my book for this suggestion. My wife took our old printer and cables to a local after-school club because they said they needed older computer stuff in our local paper. Otherwise it would have been scrapped. It works fine, it's just pre-USB/Firewire.

In the US ... Boys and Girls Club?

What I do (5, Informative)

Lxy (80823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21382935)

I have a process for getting rid of old crap. The nice thing is I usually break even (or so).

Step 1: Find a local hamfest. Hamfests are held all around the country. Keep an eye out for the bigger ones. There's one in my town once a year, and it's one of the bigger ones around. I nab a table for $10, load it up with old crap, and try to sell it cheap. Minus the cost of the table and gas, I usually make a hundred here. Don't get excited yet. You'll need that money.

Step 2: Find a local recycling program. It just so happens that the county I live in has a recycling facility, and since their focus is not making money as much as it is proper disposal, they're the cheaper option. What I don't sell at hamfest gets taken there. Usually I ring up a good size bill, so financed by option 1 is a good thing.

Step 3: Find food. With the $20 or so left over after all expenses are paid, go eat. Now you just emptied the basement, did so responsibly, and got pizza out of the deal.

Full-blown recycling that is fairly envirofriendly (3, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383019)

Our organization uses Intercon Recycling http://interconrecycling.com/ [interconrecycling.com] We've recycled several tons (metric) of IT equipment with them.

Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with them. We choose them solely because they guaranteed in writing that all of the IT waste would be processed in the US (not shipping to China) and that none of the IT waste would hit the landfill waste stream (everything is smelted down and recycled).

qmod +up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383039)

have their moments And some of the Morning. Now I have Long term 5urvival you have a play

A large hole in the ground... (1)

bushboy (112290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383045)

... Just bury it all, by far the easiest way. If you shrink wrap it, you can always dig it up later if you need it...

Re:A large hole in the ground... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383341)

Ofcourse the hole should be in your neighbor's backyard.

Reuse (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383055)

I would say, donate them to charitable causes, give them to people who do not have them, garage sales, or sell to used computer stores, ebay, etc, people who dont have computers etc. Linux is great for older computers since it can still be run with older window managers and such that run well on older hardware. It is terrible to allow perfectly good computers that work fine except they are not the latest and greatest to end up in landfills. There ought to be a law against throwing away useable old electronics and such, both to keep them out of land fills for environmental purposes and for them to be used by others who might gain benefit from them.

Targets (4, Funny)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383061)

Many old technological devices can be recycled into targets for practicing small arms fire.

What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383063)

People are talking about collectors for working stuff, but I have a rather remarkable pile of old Western Digital and DeathStar hard drives, all dead as doornails. All my Seagate drives are all still working, even the really old 1 Gb SCSI drives, so I learned my lesson there. I also have dead monitors, burned-out power supplies, etc. Nobody wants this crap! It's not good for anything!

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383107)

Open it up and save those magnets!

(a) the magnets are actually worth something
(b) they are FUN as hell
(c) donate them to local elementary school science class

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383161)

Yes, I know about the fun magnets. Big deal. That's about 0.01% of my crap. What about the rest?

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383171)

See if your local landfill has a recycling center. If it does, it will probably have a designated area for old electronics. From there, the electronics are probably hauled to a specialized recycling center.

However, you should inquire as to where this recycling center is located. Having your old HDs and monitors sent to China for reprocessing probably causes more environmental damage than simply throwing them away.

Ultimately, don't be afraid of paying the landfill a few bucks to properly dispose of your refuge; in the long run, it's better than simply tossing it in the ground.

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383275)

Exactly my point. My town is just chucking the stuff. I want to do better than that.

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383291)

Some dead stuff is fixable. That dead power supply, for example, may only require a few new capacitors, etc. Multiples of dead stuff can indeed a single working one make. Just be safe. Hard drives though, are probably not repairable...

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383315)

The power supply I'm talking about is mostly black inside. Many parts are burnt to a crisp. You don't even want to open it.

More non-answers! Apparently I'm not the only one who is at a loss here.

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383439)

Hmmm, in that case I'm out of ideas, besides taking it to a recycler so that it may hopefully continue on as useful matter to somebody, somewhere, in some alternate form. Like others have said, HDD magnets are cool toys, but there's nothing the average person can really do to make any of these objects USEFUL again...

Re:What about Really Dead Stuff? (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383855)

Recycling center, if you have one locally.

Your local landfill will probably even give you a recycling credit giving you a discount on a load of garbage if you're taking some in at the same time.

And, there's lots of separate groups like Eugene Oregon's Freenet & Computer Re-use, though I'm not familiar with any centralized national source or listing. Though typing in your city name and "electronics recycling" to Google will likely give you something.

Burried Treasure (1)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383081)

The technology we bury in today's land fills will become buried treasure to archaeologists 1000 or 5000 years for now.

Just imaging discovering technology that is 5000 years old, especially if there is a world wide cataclysm and the technology is lost.

When replacing, look for trade in programs (1)

Atticka (175794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383089)

Many manufacturers out there offer trade in programs.

Benefit is twofold, often you can get a discount if your purchasing new equipment, and the your old junk gets recycled properly.

For example, HP Procurve offers a trade in program where you can trade in old network switches/hubs (does not matter what manufacturer) for discounts/cash back when purchasing new Procurve equipment.

Sony once upon a time had a program where you could get a great discount on a laptop if you traded in a competitors product (didn't matter how old it was).

Costco has a recycling program now (3, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383099)

If you're a member, Costco now has a recycling program [greensight.com] through Greensight. Shipping is free at the moment, and newer items may qualify for a trade-in value (paid via a Costco CashBack card).

Freecycle [freecycle.org] has already been mentioned elsewhere.

Re:Costco has a recycling program now (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383787)

I was curious about the program, so I checked the website out. Also, below is a response to a question from their customer service team:

TradeInProgram@greensight.com to me

Dear *my name removed*,

I'll be happy to answer your question. We do not send any of our equipment to China or any other country for processing. Some product is recycled within the USA in an environmentally friendly manner, other items that have some value are disassembled (at our facility) down to their component parts for use in the repair and service industry. It may be possible that a customer who purchases one or more of the resulting components for some type of repair operation may be in any country, but we do not send anything outside of the US for recycling/reprocessing. I hope this information has been helpful.

Sincerely,
*customer service rep name removed*
The CostcoTrade-In and Recycle Program Team

Trade it in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383101)

... on a new SUV!

In all seriousness :-) STORK FOR EMPEROR (-1, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383189)

I think the people of the United States should declare me to be the Dictator of North America. This burden would be heavy, and I think I would deserve payment in equal to 10% of the Federal Budget, per year, for my services, and to maintain my staff and personal guard.

As your Emperor, I would, in general, put all the artists to work by inspiring them to build giant statues and banners of me, everywhere.

Now, as your Emperor, I would make great use of all of this "junk". I would mash and melt it all down, as much as possible, and use the material to construct a one mile high pyramid, sited near Cleveland OH, that would be designed to be my funeral tomb for all eternity, except that I wouldn't use it at all.

I'm thinking Golden Arches, instead of Golden Mask. I'd probably put like a fast food concessions are in the middle of it, instead of my sarcophagus.

Re:In all seriousness :-) STORK FOR EMPEROR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383305)

Living in a Cleveland suburb, I would have to say "Excellent idea, your Highness!" /Now the 300+ IT workers let go from Progressive have a future.

how many ways to say going DOWn? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383243)

wavering, fluctuating, unsteady, retreating, maintaining, hovering, unchanged, pushed back, punctured rally, etc... that's just one article of misinformation re: the vaporization of j. public's retirement FUNd.

recycling 0 and all the digits below, at its finest.

the lights are coming up all over now. see you there?

Best way? (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383265)

1> Get a midevil catapul.
2> Put the catapult on the top of a tall building with your 'Old Tech' ammo.
3> Fire!!!!!!!
4> ...
5> Profit or get arrested!

Multiple recycling (1)

Uusilehto (1114317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383309)

When I throw away electronics, this is what I do: First, I open the thing up, remove any and all useful components like motors, bearings, fans, PSU's, knobs, microswitches, LED's, CdS resistors, diodes, potentiometres, heatsinks, brass tubing, nylon, any clean metal sheet larger than a fingernail and anything else (even the wiring from transformers) that might be useful later on .
After this, I close it up (maybe throw in some other small stripped electronics like floppy drive shells) and take it to a recycling center.

Ok, there probably isn't much to recycle after stripping the it clean but at least I end up saving a few euros and the trips to the electronics store (the nearest of which is something like twenty kilometres away).

And yes, I'm a cheapskate.

Just throw it away (3, Interesting)

Wise Dragon (71071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383339)

Just throw it away, i.e. put it a properly sealed landfill. Someday someone will come along with a Plasma Gasification rig (google it) and distill it into its component materials safely and efficiently. Recycling is just a waste of time and money, whether its your time and money or someone else's.

Re:Just throw it away (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21383901)

Googled it.
Do you think these guys know about Plasma Gasification Rigs?

Slashdot | What's the Best Way to Recycle Old Tech in the US?
- [ Traduzca esta página ]
Someday someone will come along with a Plasma Gasification rig (google it) and distill it into its component materials safely and efficiently. ...
ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/16/1423217 - Hace 1 hora - Páginas similares - Anotar esto

Staples (3, Informative)

manniwood (531020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383425)

Staples stores accept big stuff, like computers, for $10, and small stuff, like batteries and cell phones, for free. I've done this for a few months now. Check on the staples.com website.

Back in College... (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383449)

when we had old things laying around (tech or otherwise) that didn't function anymore we would have a "physics project". Simply put this involves taking said object to a tall building or bridge and launching the object off of it while we observed the effect physics had on the object. It was quite scientific and was responsible for a vast majority of my learning in College. The other factor in my learning was filling beer bottles up with water to just the right point where if you slap your hand on it the bottom would fall out.

Donate your stuff. (3, Informative)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383461)

Donate your stuff.

Also, check out your city's or county's website. They may have local programs for recycling old hardware.

Oh, yeah, you could also donate all your stuff to me.... :)

Re:Donate your stuff. (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383793)

Most of the places that take old computers require them to be 3-5 years old (or newer) with valid Windows licenses. That precludes Macs and systems that don't have a valid windows license. For instance, I had a Dell PowerEdge server I bought used for $50. I couldn't recycle it even though it was a 550 mhz xeon with 512MB RAM, 40 GB of storage (2 scsi disks), a cdrom and ati rage card. Granted by today's standards it was slow, but BSD and Linux ran great on it. It could have worked as a surfing machine for someone. Likewise, I have my mothers old Celeron 700mhz HP that I fixed up. It can run XP, but she doesn't have the restore CD for Windows ME. It can run Linux or BSD fine. The unit doesn't have enough RAM for me to use it for testing software so it just sits there.

I haven't been able to give machines away and most places charge to recycle. I don't want to pay $20 to get rid of my junk. It didn't sell on ebay either.

Re-use (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383533)

Whenever I have an older computer, I have pushed it down the stack. My computer goes to my wife and so on down until the bottom level pops out. That computer is usually given to the public school system. And I get a nice tax write off.

Sculptures (2, Interesting)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383579)

Some people take old electronics and make sculptures out of it. This lady [wired.com] makes moving animals out of old electronics junk. If I also recall there was a guy back in the early 2000's that made a life-size dinosaur sculpture out of old electronics gear...I couldn't find a link to it though, I think I saw it in Wired Mag. Apparently the point of the dinosaur was to represent how much electronics junk the average American consumed in their lifetime. I am sure there are plenty of other examples of such a thing.

Donate to a charity (2, Informative)

azav (469988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383585)

I started a charity for this purpose.

If you have old equipment that you'd like to donate to a charity, we'll put linux on it (if it's a PC) and ship it to poor kids in a developing nation.

If you're interested, feel free to email me at zavPublic (at) mac (dot) com

The link below is our first shipment.
http://web.mac.com/zav/iWeb/Zav-O-Matic/Off%20to%20Africa.html [mac.com]

Cheers,
- Zav

In Silicon Valley, go to Wierd Stuff Warehouse (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383643)

Wierd Stuff Warehouse in Mountain View, CA offers free electronics recycling. If it works, they'll put it up for sale; if not, they'll scrap it properly.

Good place to get CRT monitors cheap, if you want one.

Question for the masses... (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383647)

I have a Dell flat-panel monitor that's dead (screen doesn't work)...died 2-3 months after warranty expired. What can I do with it?

Mobile Phones (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21383717)

I like to put prepaid SIMs into old GSM phones I don't use, and leave them in the car and at home as backups or for visitors. But most SIMs still expire after a while, which seems like a scam to me (since the telcos don't refund their cost). CDMA phones do no good.

But I wish they could all be unlocked to use a low-power accesspoint in my home. The Bluetooth ones would be good as remote controls, if a Java or native applet could harness them.
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