23 March 2013


Spring is here!  Well, the weather is not spring-like, but spring is here regardless.  With spring we will have spring cleaning.  Faithful followers of this blog know that I already have a head-start with spring cleaning thanks to The Freecycling Network (TFN).  I managed to give away many baby-related items plus old-technology stuff.  Ideally the people who get stuff from TFN or similar networks are individuals actually making use of them.  In my case, I suspect I've been dealing with an eBay Seller, so I am not going to list any more stuff for the time being.  I did have a bunch of old 4-GB, or smaller size, internal hard drives, and some internal burners, mostly CD-R or CD-RW, but there was a DVD burner.  Instead of listing them on TFN, I packed them all up into one heavy backpack and rode on the bike to the E-Waste Warehouse of the Lower East Side Ecology Center (LESEC).  The LESEC regularly holds e-waste events in the five boroughs, whereby people can drop off old electronics for re-use or recycling, or at worst for proper disposal so that the old stuff don't end up contaminating soil or stream. Now things get even better!  The E-Waste Warehouse on President Street in Brooklyn, almost by the Gowanus Canal, is open five days a week (Tuesday through Saturday).  Nothing fancy, just a loading dock where people can drop off stuff.  It's far from the main road, so there are plenty of parking or double-parking space should you come with a truck-load of stuff.  For some kind of tracking, you may be asked from which zip code you come from.

When the E-Waste Warehouse is open for business, this sign is put out on the sidewalk.  The loading dock is just to the right of this photo.  A LESEC person sat on the dock collecting stuff, I didn't want to bother him with photography.

The LESEC E-Waste Warehouse is near a T-intersection.  The Gowanus Canal is behind the photographer and the street where the white van is on is President.
Years ago I would drive van-load of stuff I rescued from the street to LESEC events.  I should also take such items to the E-Waste Warehouse, but I won't be doing that at all.  It's a bit far for me and I hate driving, even when there is plenty of parking.  Instead, I've been taking old electronics to my local Best Buy at Caesar's Bay.  I just walk there with a laundry cart, usually with just one item, but one time I brought three pieces.  I just chalk the walk up as a Charity Miles walk, usually done after a meal.  Right at the entrance, I would ask for a Recycle sticker to affix to each piece, then just drop the stuff off at their Service Desk.  No need to even wait on a queue if there is one, just leave them on the floor out of the way for the service people to get in and out of the area.  All the staff are so friendly, they even thanked me for recycling.  According to this blog post, http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/04/24/how-best-buy-makes-money-recycling-america’s-electronics-and-appliances?page=full , Best Buy makes a little money off the free service and their e-waste handlers meet industry standard.  Still a win-win situation for me.  As long as I don't do any compulsive buying while at Best Buy.

I recently found out that Staples also accept old tech stuff for recycling.  I knew that Staples used to take only Dell stuff but things changed for the better.  The local Staples store is much closer for me than the Best Buy store, but recycling with Staples is a little more involved.  You need to be on queue as if you are buying something, then the clerk has to look up some codes to I.D. the pieces and print you a receipt.  On those days when Staples have $1, or better, sales I wouldn't want to be at Staples.  I suppose I'll take the long walks to Best Buy after all.


  1. Happy Snow Day from STL - since I am not going anywhere, I probably will gather a few items for an upcoming Electronic Recycle event in our neighborhood too.
    Hope NYC won't get too much snow.
    Keep warm and be well,

  2. Towns should really be on the watch with regards to their e waste. E waste could be found not dangerous when lying around at the dumps but with chemicals like cadmium found on the circuit boards no one knows what damage it might cause in our environment.

  3. In most of the states strict rule and regulations have been applied to mandate environmental responsibility by banning the disposal of e-waste into landfills because of the harmful effects it has on the environment and health of the community. Most of the e-wastes are easily reusable so recycling these wastes not only reduces the environment pollution, but also it is beneficial for the health of the community.

  4. The issues around e-waste really need to be dealt with by the manufacturers. When electronics are recycled or donated we don't know if they will be responsibly disposed of at the end of their lives.