Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tired of piles of e-waste

Saving the world on a budget is tough. When a CFL burns out, or the cell phone craps out because you dropped just one time too many, what do you do?

We used to store them until we had enough to make it worthwhile to take them "somewhere." IKEA recycles batteries and CFLs. We have a box labeled "Take to IKEA" with batteries and CFLs in it.

"Let's go to IKEA," Xena will say.

"Yes, let's!" I'll say. "We'll endure the parking lot, the shuffling throngs, the maze of furniture and greenwashing and spend more money!" Invariably, as we get out of the car, one of us will turn to the other, "Didn't you bring the box?"

Clearly, storing batteries and CFLs in a box to take to IKEA is not a solution that works for us.

Another option that doesn't work well for us is to store these things and wait for a free e-waste fair. I always see the notice "Free e-waste recycling at Emeryville High School" on the day after the event. So the e-waste simply piles higher and higher at my home. Soon I will be forced to pay for its removal, and that's not sustainable behavior for my wallet!

But now, from the people who brought us the Pony Express, the USPS is piloting a program to help recycle small items such as inkjet cartridges and cell phones. This is super convenient for us! We just pop our dead lump of plastic and silicon into the little recycling envelope and leave it in our own mailbox.

Convenient, at-home e-waste recycling is a solution that works very well for us.

Recycling at the US Post Office

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