Pay to recycle or toss in the trash?

By Steve Outing

Today in Boulder there was a special free day for recycling computer and electronic gear. Normally our recycling center charges for electronic items to be recycled at its Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM). I’d accumulated a bunch of stuff that needed to be recycled so I headed over to the special-event drop-off center…

No luck! There must’ve been a hundred cars lined up waiting to get in. I came back toward the end to see if the situation improved, but was turned away. One of the recycling reps said that cars started lining up at 7 am for the 8am-1pm period of free recycling, and the long line of cars was non-stop. They ran out of room for stuff in the 4 semi trailers they had lined up for the event.

Apparently, LOTS of people balk at taking electronics to the recycling center and paying to get rid of stuff. That’s why my house was full of old computers, monitors and printers. I tallied up what it would cost to get rid of what I tried to recycle today: $78.

I’m hoping that our local government will look at this situation and figure out how to use more public funds to cover the full cost of recycling electronic equipment. My fear is that many people will look at the cost and just dump stuff in the trash, which is not good.

I won’t do that, but neither will I pay $78. I’ll wait till the next free opportunity.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!