We are all drowning in electronic trash. Ok, maybe not all of us, but most of the people and businesses I know. Old routers, cables, telephones, discarded laptops and CPUs. Oh my! I had three big boxes filled with just cables, routers, headsets, and other paraphernalia. On top of that, 3 dead laptops, 2 laptop cooling stands, and 4 dead CPUs crowded a corner of my office. I wanted to dispose of these items in some responsible, environmentally-friendly manner.
I didn’t want my old equipment tossed in a landfill. In addition, I was under the distinct impression that I was required to dispose of my e-waste responsibly. In fact, I was pretty sure I had blogged about new e-waste disposal rules years ago. So I did some digging in my blog archives, and found out that, sure enough, I did blog about it back in November, 2005 in a post entitled “Disposing of Unwanted E-Equipment.” What I had forgotten is that the EPA regulations applied only to businesses, and not to residences. Since I operate on a virtual-office basis out of my home, it seems I have no requirement, at least Federally, to recycle electronic waste.
The Federal eWaste site indicated that individual states may have requirements of their own. That seemed to jog my defective memory a bit, so I looked to the National Electronics Recycling Infrastructure Clearinghouse to determine what is required in my native state of Pennsylvania.
As you can see from the map above, PA does not have any state-specific e-waste disposal requirements. So it’s up to the conscience of each individual to do the right thing. And that includes all those of us who have home-based business. According to one resource, “The home office market will add nearly 2.0 million home-based businesses by 2015, with over 450,000 net new home-based businesses per year in 2013 and 2014. ” Folks, we’re looking at a lot of e-waste here!
There are a lot of choices for e-cycling and disposal. I know because I did a Google search to find them. And while many are good solutions for business, most didn’t work for me. But I finally found a convenient solution at the local “big box” store. I walked into my local Best Buy, just minutes from my home. Right in the foyer were several recycling bins. Each was labeled for appropriate content: batteries, cables, and so forth. Intrigued, I went to their web site to find out more about their e-cycling program. I was amazed to find that I could recycle almost everything I had, regardless of where or when it had been purchased.
By coincidence, my old Sony 27″ TV died right after I became aware of this service. So with much labor, hubby and I managed to get it into the car, along with all the other “stuff” I had piled around the office. They took everything with a smile and a thank you. I was back home within 15 minutes with a good feeling, and a lot of regained space in the office.
Kudos, Best Buy, for making my e-disposal quick and painless. Keep up the good work.