Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Short Subjects: Coming to Grips with Unwanted E-Devices

Desktops, laptops, tablets, music players, monitors, printers… Everyone with electronic devices knows that while they may still function after a few years, they quickly become outmoded if you depend on them for work.

What should you do with your stockpile of no longer desirable e-devices?

They are definitely not something to throw in the trash. They are not biodegradable. They also contain heavy metals that pose environmental hazards when not disposed of properly.

In an effort to keep e-devices out of the waste stream, nearly half the states in the US now have mandatory e-cycling programs. The orange states on this interactive map are ones with e-cycling laws in place. By clicking on an orange state you can find out the details of that state’s program. In 2007, my state, Connecticut, passed Public Act 07-189… requiring manufacturers of televisions, computers and monitors to finance the recycling of their products. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) added printers through regulation. This law is based on a "producer responsibility" model where the manufacturer assumes financial responsibility for the end of life management of their product. 

Each municipality in Connecticut is now required to provide convenient and accessible e-cycling for its residents. In New Haven, residents are allowed to e-cycle up to 7 electronic devices, free of charge, at the City’s Transfer Station, up to 4 times in a calendar year.

While e-cycling (if you have it) is great, finding a new home for a working device is even better. In our digital age, there are people for whom owning a laptop still remains a dream. Before taking your unwanted laptop to your e-cycling center, ask around in your community to see if there is an agency to whom you can donate it.

Thanks to the online publication The Daily Nutmeg, I learned of such an organization in New Haven. accepts donations of working laptops less than five years old. Donated laptops are refurbished, upgraded with recent software, and put into the hands of deserving high school  students in the area. 

School will be starting soon. What better time to get your old laptop out to someone who will love it again? 

Why Saturday Short Subjects? Some readers may recall being dropped at the movie theater for the Saturday matinee — two action-packed feature films with a series of short subjects (cartoons or short movies, sometimes a serial cliffhanger) sandwiched in between. Often the short subjects were the most memorable, and enjoyable, part of the morning. That explains the name. The reason behind these particular posts is that we are all short on time. My Short Subject posts should not take me as long to write or you as long to read (or try).

No comments:

Post a Comment