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January 06, 2008

"Tip of the Week" - An Easy and Great Way to Recycle Your Old Electronics

Given the frenzy surrounding technology, changing your Windoze for Macs, Iphones, Ipods, MP3 players, updating our digital cameras and camcorders, what are you doing with your old equipment?  And how can you dispose of it in an eco-friendly way?

Costco has a terrific new program which I will be taking advantage of:

Through the Trade-In & Recycle Program on costco.com, computers and certain other small electronics can be recycled free - and in some cases you'll actually be paid for the item.

The program covers PCs, LCD monitors, digital cameras, camcorders, game systems and MP3 players, and it's extremely easy to use.  You just go to costco.com, indentify the type of equipment you want to dispose of, and a value estimator will indicate whether it has any trade-in value.  You then ship the item, using a free, prepaid shipping label.

If the item has any trade-in value, you'll be sent a Costco Cash card for that amount.  If not, you'll have gotten rid of an unwanted item - without putting it in the garbage stream - for free.

Costco is offering the program in conjunction with GreenSight, a company specializing in the same disposal of consumer electronics.  They salvage parts that have any value, then work with other companies to dispose of those parts which have reached the end of their useful life.  The company has a zero tolerance landfill policy and does not ship electronics overseas.

Sounds, like a pretty good deal to me.  One catch.  You have to be a Costco member.  But that's not a bad deal, either!

Link of Interest:

Furnishing Your Office Through Freecycle.org


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Eric Turkewitz

But in dumping that old computer, don't forget to make sure the hard drive is wiped clean, or physically removed and destroyed. There's client info on that thing (and maybe a few passwords and financial data to mine?), and you never really know what will happen to the computer once it leaves your hands.

Susan Cartier Liebel

Eric, clearly you remind us of a good point. I made an assumption lawyers would know to 'cleanse' their computers due to confidentiality issues before offering recycling in any format. However, I'm less concerned what is done with the machines. If they have value and are cleaned and given to the indigent, more the better. If they can be broken down for parts and reused, okay by me, too. Anything to avoid contributing to landfills.

Stephanie Kimbro, Esq.

I recently used 1800GotJunk to pick up my old electronic equipment. That company also recycles used electronics rather than putting them in the dump.

Would you have any tips for recycling shredded paper documents? Our local recycling will not take them and as a solo I cannot afford to pay another company to shred them for me and recycle them. I don't usually have that much, but it does add up fast.

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