what to do with your old computer

Brent Finnegan -- August 3rd, 2006

You could make an artsy music video and smash it (which would be totally cool if it were still the early 90s). But then what? Technically it’s illegal to hide CRTs in your trash can. The trash and recycling people won’t take it, anyway. They always know. Besides, electronic devices and appliances are often full of lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium, and can poison humans as well as the environment.

Harrisonburg’s Department of Public works started a program called e-Recycling, where you can drop off your old computers (CPUs & monitors), VCRs, TVs, DVDs, cell phones, video game consoles, printers, hair dryers, batteries, etc to be recycled. You have to pay 5 or 10 bucks when you drop the junk off, but it’s a very forward-thinking move by the city. The only problem is that it’s once a year: sometime in April 2007, at the JMU Convocation Center parking lot. It’s possible that more pickup dates will be added in the future.

This week I read on cvillenews that the Crutchfield in Charlottesville has started it’s own electronics recycling program. I called the Hburg Crutchfield to see if they had one too. They do. It’s basically the same thing the city is doing, only you can take your computer in anytime the store is open. Here’s a partial list of what they accept: CPUs, CRT monitors, AC window units, old game consoles & video games, cell phones, copiers, fax machines, microwaves, TVs and refrigerators. Like the city, Crutchfield charges 5 or 10 dollars for your junk ($25 for fridges). If the city’s not making much money off of it, I doubt Crutchfield is, either. Cool service. Here’s a list of what they take (thanks, Barnabas).

Or, you could give your old computer and Super Nintendo to some JMU art major who likes to sculpt with junk. Then disposal will be his problem after he realizes that no one in the world wants his ugly post-modern junk sculptures in their house.

-finnegan

6 Responses to “what to do with your old computer”

  1. danno says:

    or if anybody really wants to get rid of a Super Nintendo, they can just give it to Dan Hagen at hagendf@yahoo.com

  2. Barnabas says:

    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-P22rqspAPil/retailstores/recycle.html

    Use above address for more info on Crutchfields Electronics Recycle program.

  3. DonBeasley says:

    Sweet. I can reclaim sizable swaths of backyard and basement now.

  4. Science says:

    I was surprised recently to learn that even the salvation army doesn’t take working computers if they are older than 2001! I was just using my monitor that very week but they wouldn’t take it. And I couldn’t in good conscience just chuck it out.

    If it’s not in too bad of a condition, there is also a place in Waynesboro that refurbishes and gives them to non-profit organizations:

    http://www.computer-recycle.org/

    I’m guessing that they don’t charge, but they are probably a bit more selective with what they take (it has to work). The place is called C-R-T for Computer Redistribution Team, tres clever! CRTs last a long time and now that plasma’s, lcd’s, technology x, is in, everone is in a frenzy to get rid of their CRTs.

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