I recently switched from satellite to cable TV, leaving me with two DirecTV receivers that have no resale value and aren't suitable for contribution to a charity like Goodwill. I hated the idea of chucking them in a landfill, because home electronics contain toxins such as mercury and lead, so I started looking into electronic recycling options.
The nearest option in North Florida appeared to be Scrap Computers, a company in Jacksonville that collects small electronics for free and larger items for a fee.
I found a better idea on a DirecTV message board: Staples stores began collecting electronics for recycling in 2007.
Staples makes it easy for customers to recycle e-waste by simply bringing their used computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes and all-in-ones to any U.S. Staples store, where the equipment will be recycled in accordance with environmental laws. All brands will be accepted, regardless of whether or not the equipment was purchased at Staples, for a fee of $10 per large item. Staples is working with Amandi Services, one of the country's most experienced and innovative electronics recyclers, to handle recycling of the equipment, following standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The local Staples took the receivers for recycling at no charge, bagging them up at the customer service desk.
-- Rogers Cadenhead
Here in Japan you can't chuck stuff like that out. You have to pay to have it hauled off for recycling. But in the case of computer equipment, the manufacturers now include the future recycling in the cost of the CPUs and displays, so you just need to contact them when you want to get rid of it. If you have something older, it's about $50 to unload it, or maybe $30 from a smaller operator with a pickup (although I suspect those guys just throw the stuff in the river in the dead of night).
People recently arrived in Japan are always surprised by the generosity of the Japanese in offering them all kinds of household appliances "for free." Only later do they figure out their true motives.
Rogers--I checked the Staples website link that you provided, and saw this:
"TV's and large, floor-model copiers are not accepted"
So it appears they are NOT accepting TVs.
Note the Staples policy of charging $10 per "large item". The Staples stores consider small notebook computers to be "large items". Things that do not get the $10 charge are items like mice.
I think Staples also gives you a rebate if you return your old printer cartridges when you buy new ones in attempt to help dispose of the properly.
Staples and Office Depot have nationwide convenient electronic take back programs for a low cost. Dell, HP, Apple and other computer manufactuers also take back your old electronics (usually free of charge if you are buying a new item). Sony has also partnered iwht Waste Management to take back their old TV's free of charge at various WM facilites around the country.
Most wireless stores will take back your old cell phone free of charge even if you do not buy a new phone. Motorola and Recellular will even pay for phones collected. A number of non-profit organizations are finding it beneficial to go door to door to collect old cell phones and then sell them back to Motorola, Recellular and other phone organizations.
There are a number of growing disposal options that are green both ways - environmental and financial. Your old computer might be worth something on eBay. Check it out before chucking it in the garbage.
Way to do the right thing. Most people would have thrown it all in the trash without a second thought.
I just called my local Staples in Coral Gables, FL and they informed me that they did not have any recycling services for satellite receivers; only for cell phones and batteries.
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