by Lori Ann
Okay, so you already know how to recycle. If you're living in a city with a recycling program, you put your paper in a bin, and your glass in one, and aluminum... but what about the CDs, broken electronics, and keys?
My dad told me that our hometown hosted an "E-waste" drive last month. How exciting! Residents usually have to drive their electronics outside of town and pay to have them properly disposed of. For one day, though, citizens could bring their old electronics to the fairgrounds for free, where volunteers helped unload it all. Last January's drive, our newspaper reports, 92,000 pounds of electronics were collected, thus saved from the landfill!
For everywhere else, everything else, and all the other times of the year, we still get stuck with unusable items we don't want ending up in landfills. Here's a list of items you can recycle, each linked to a site where you can send it. I tried to only include free programs (some even pay you or donate to charity!), though I can't guarantee they won't change.
laptops & other computers by mail
laptops & other computers nationwide drop-off
printer cartridges (inket & laser)
(*'s mean it's the same link as a previously listed one, so if you're clicking 'em all instead of just searching for the items you have to recycle, you don't get a bunch of duplicates)
For local drop-off locations for the above items and others, run a search on Earth 911. It'll tell you the nearest spot that accepts an item for recycling!
Many manufacturers have their own programs for the electronics they produce. Find those here.
As of March 17th, 2008, the US Postal Service is piloting a program that lets you drop e-waste into a free envelope which is sent (also for free) to be recycled. See if you're in one of the pilot areas.
Not everything you're done with is useless. Read about it at Share the Technology, which is full or links to places you can donate those electronics you can't use anymore.
Do you know of other free recycling resources? Comment with the url and I'll add it to this list!