Friday, November 6, 2009

How Weird is your Waste?

At 42 I am finally advanced enough in years to say "when I was a kid we didn't have cell phones or fax machines and we got on just fine!" As an adult, fully engaged in the 21st century, I cannot say that technology doesn't matter. My last business, a boxed lunch delivery service, relied on cell phones and faxed orders. My current business, The Night Kitchen, relies heavily on our website for information and pictures and email for inquiries.
I can also say with a curmudgeony voice " they don't make them like they used to!" Well there is a lot of truth to that. Replacing cell phones every year is now the norm. Upgrading technology on a regular basis is what the younger generation grew up on. My parent's 20 year black and white TV would never fly these days.
With all of this newly needed technology plus burgeoning populations comes lots of toxic waste. What do you do with that dead computer monitor, cell phone or TV? If you put it in the trash it will end up in a landfill and poison the soil or worse a trash heap in a developing country, poisoning their soil and water. Many of these electronics include heavy metals such as lead and mercury making them environmentally hazardous. How can we avoid the landfill?
Companies like Institutional Recycling Network (IRN), a local business, manage surplus for reuse. Things that we might otherwise throw away, are refurbished or reused in other products. They break the items down to reuse, right here in the good old US, creating American jobs.
Following the mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the best way to meet the challenges of waste.
Trash reduction is always better than throwing something into a landfill. There is only so much space on the planet for landfills and they are living up to their name (filled).
To help combat this problem GReenINChestnutHill (GRINCH) and IRN have organized a Weird Waste Day Saturday November 14th from 1-4pm in the Valley Green Bank parking lot on W. Highland. Bring your computers, cell phones, and air conditioners. You pay 39cents per pound and IRN will recycle and reuse all of the dead technology you don't know what do with that is cluttering your basement and attic.
The proceeds will benefit GRINCH and The Jenks Home and School Association.
You declutter your home and feel good about it and your local school and environmental group benefit, too. Win-Win.

Complete list of what they will take:

Monitors- CRT, LCD, Plasma

PCs- Desktop, Laptop

Peripherals-Printers, Scanners

Accessories-Keyboards, Cables, Mice

Handhelds- Flash drives, Phones, PDAs

Equipment-TVs, Cameras, Stereos, Speakers

Flat rate charge of $15.00 for air conditioners (Freon!)

$1.40 for compact fluorescent light bulbs

$0.70 a linear foot for fluorescent lamps

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