Sunday, January 6, 2008

Mailbag: Recycling Microwaves & Printers

Chris Mesure from Philly asks:

"I have an old Microwave and Computer printer, both of which I am trying to dispose of in the most earth-friendly way I can. Do you know of any recycling, or disposal program in Philly (or the area) for both?"

Thanks for the question Chris. If your printer and microwave are still in working order, my first recommendation would be to try Freecycle, a global grassroots network where you can list items that you have to give away, as well as items you're seeking. Phillyfreecycle has a very active membership, with more than 8,000 participating, so if you have working appliances, there is a good chance you can find someone to happily take them off your hands.

I have not personally tried Freecycle, but I have friends who swear by it. It takes 100% less energy and raw material to reuse than to recycle, so by all means take advantage of any opportunity to give your old items new life in new homes.

Now if your electronic gadgets are all busted up, you can head over to Pottstown and take them to Recycling Services, Inc. RSI is a non-profit organization that accepts many, many materials for recycling, from wire coat hangers to clothes to used fishing line. God bless them!

You'll have to fork over an $8 donation for each carload, and $5 extra if you're dropping off something really large, like TVs, copiers and computer monitors. This covers the cost of recycling your junk and I think it's a small price to pay for a clear conscience. RSI is open for collection on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Recycling Services, Inc.
365 Elm Street Pottstown, PA 19465
Phone: (610) 323-8545

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Please keep the questions coming! They makes me a happy eco-nerd.
blukas (AT) gmail (DOT) com


phillyfreecycle moderator said...

Just for the record, people are more than welcome to post broken things to philly freecycle. You never know when someone needs something for parts to fix another one of a same or similar model, or wants to use it for a science experiment, or wants to turn it into sculpture, or a robot costume, or... or.. or.. the only thing we ask is that you clearly disclose the condition of the item that you are giving away so that people know what they are asking for/getting.

Also, while recycling services is quite good (jim from RSI is a friend of ours), it's a bit far to travel just to drop off some old electronics. (We only tend to suggest people travel there to drop off the higher number plastics, and other things which they collect, sort, and try to find markets for that you can't recycle or put into reuse anywhere else.)

There will be new options soon, but there is also the city's electronics waste collection program.

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