Hard to believe that fifty or sixty years ago, there was no such thing as “electronic waste”. One garbage can was all you needed. If you handed down your furniture and clothing, burned your leaves in the back yard, composted your food garbage for your victory garden, and lined the parakeet’s cage with the newspaper, there really wasn’t that much left over to throw away.
Then we got TVs. And TV dinners. And our trash cans have been growing in number and size ever since. Now we really have to stop and think about what we throw away and where we throw it. Is it recyclable paper, plastic, or glass? Is it hazardous waste, like old paint? Is it compostable food garbage, like a banana peel? Is it plain old trash, like candy wrappers and yogurt lids? Or is it e-waste?
E-waste. It’s astonishing how much of it we have accumulated. Computers, cell phones, DVD players, printers, microwaves – that’s just a tiny list, and if you are like me, you’ve got everything on it. What’s more, you are likely to replace everything on that list within the next couple of years. Then what do you do with the old one? Well, if you are like me, you will hang on to it for an unreasonable amount of time thinking someone might be able to use it. But an old desktop computer is not like Grandma’s handmade quilt; your children are not going to be vying for it. And sooner or later, you are just going to have to get rid of it because it is taking up too much space.
You know you can’t just throw it in the trash, but again, if you are like me, you are a little resentful that this amazing technology that is supposed to make life easier is kind of a pain, right up to and including the moment you have to dispose of it.
Well, believe it or not, the folks at Dollar Self Storage have put their heads together and come up with a way to make our lives easier on this front. They are concerned about the environmental impact of all that e-waste, and the related landfill overcrowding concerns. So beginning in 2007, they began establishing free Electronic Waste Recycling centers at their Dollar Self Storage locations in California, Arizona, and Nevada. And here’s the kicker: they donate any proceeds to local community charitable projects. That just may be the best thing my old fax machine has ever done.