Adventures with electronic recycling

As I was getting my purse, phone, keys, and a copy of our city utilities bill just in case I was asked if I lived in the city, Terry calls out, “Wait,” and comes out of our office with a very large, very old computer tower. “You can take this, too.”

Okay, there was plenty of room in the back of my car since I only had an old tv recorder to take to this electronic recycling event. The flyer had been on the side of the fridge for over a month. I had the hours, address, and even directions to get to this event. I would have to drive all the way to the far south end of the city to a recycling warehouse. Everything seemed pretty straight forward. Until the day arrived.

It’s pouring rain today. I wondered if they might cancel the event because it would be outdoors, a drive-through thing where someone would take the electronics out of my car without me even having to get out. So the flyer had said.

I made my way across town, turning and turning and turning again to get to the address on the flyer. The gates were all closed on the side with the actual street address. I made a few u-turns and came in on another street that had an open gate. Parked my car in a lot because I saw no signs or even cones for this recycling event. I found an office and went in. The young man at the counter was very polite and said I would have to go to the far back part of the property, to the warehouse, where all of the recycling materials were handled. I asked if I could drive there.

“Oh sure, just drive right around the building, through those gates. You can check in the warehouse.”

Ok, sounded fine. Off I went. Parked in another lot. Got out and headed for the only open door I could see, but again, no people, no signs, no dumpsters or trucks for the electronics. There was one large trailer that could be hooked up to a semi-tractor, so maybe…

Into the warehouse I marched, seeing some fellows at the far back corner, so I yelled out, waving at the same time, “Hello, hello…I’m here for the recycling event.

One of the fellows pulls on his mask as he’s waving me to go out the door, back outside, “This is a warehouse, you can’t come in here, wait outside.” When relating this to Terry, he says what I already knew, “He was just afraid you’d trip, fall, get hurt, and sue the city for everything it has.” Yeah, right.

The young man comes outside where I am waiting near the door. “Did you get a flyer?” he asks. Yes, I did. “My boss said there were flyers, but we never saw them. It’s okay, you’re here, we’ll take what you’ve got.” He motions for another guy to get a little hauler and they head to my car where I open the hatch and show him the two items. “That’s all I have.”

“Oh, we usually get tvs, but I’ll take this,” and he grabs the items and puts them in the bed of the hauler. Then he looks at my tires. “Do you have any tires? We could really use tires.” No, no tires. “Tell your neighbors if they have tires, we’ll take tires any time. We really need tires.” I’m guessing there is a big market for recycling rubber to make more tires.

Okay, thanks a lot, we both say. And I pull back around, through the lot and out the only open gate on the property. No other cars showing up. Just me and my two very old electronic devices. No one asked for any identification. I didn’t need to show our utility bill. I could have been Joe Schmo from Kokomo and they would have taken those two items. And tires, if I had them.

Now, here is the punchline…this event was set up and announced by the city, the same city that has just started talking about being its own power company because it doesn’t like Pacific Gas & Electric. Back to the dark ages.


14 responses to “Adventures with electronic recycling

  1. Wow!! When we have electronic recycling there is a really long line of cars, no matter what the weather.

    • We are a fair weather place. People don’t go out as much when it rains. And people are really bad drivers in the rain here. I was glad to be home after my drive from one side of town to the other. I went shopping after the drop-off, something I so rarely do, but I wanted new calendars for 2023 and I needed some things from Ulta. Fortunately, Barnes & Noble and Ulta are in the same shopping center so I could park once and just walk the perimeter of the center. I was soaked by the time I got back to the car.

  2. Good for you for being so diligent. I am really surprised that nobody else came. I find that odd.

  3. I haven’t tried an electronics recycling event since lifting heavy electronic stuff into the car is no longer in my “to-do” repertoire. Sounds like you experienced a pretty discouraging–and very poorly organized–event. Much as I’d prefer to donate or recycle our excess, next spring I will probably end up calling a junk hauler to clear out the very mixed bags of “stuff” in our storage room and closets. I used to keep things fairly organized but can no longer lift, bend or carry like I once did.

  4. OMG! LOL This reminds me of the first time I went to a recycling event for used needles/sharps. I went to the landfill-met the guy in the guard shack who told me to drive to the top of the hill and follow the road to the right and look for the large white trailer. He said that would be where I would find everyone. I drove as directed, got to the ‘place’ where I did, in fact, see a white trailer. But no people anywhere around. When the event finally started (I was 10 min. early), I noticed a line of cars forming a ways over to my left! LOL But the guys in charge spotted me, walked over and asked me why I was there. I explained and he guided me over to first in line in front of all these other cars… LOL felt a bit self-conscious, but hey, what did I know?? LOL

  5. Good job being persistent! The municipality I used to live in offers an electronics recycling event on a Saturday every other month. You do not have to be a resident of the city to take advantage of it. Most things are free to drop off, but there is a fee for televisions and old CRT computer monitors.

  6. Kudos for getting out in the rain and going through all that. Good job.

  7. that seems very odd, that the place of business didn’t even see a flyer – but at least you got rid of the items…

  8. I don’t know where to recycle our junk. We usually throw it in the trash bin.

    • That’s not allowed here. Those two items I dropped off have been sitting around for a few years! Terry kept saying he woujd take them to a drop-off event but didn’t. That’s why I was determined to get rid of them.

  9. We’re having an electronic waste collection here too, but we deposited most of our stuff at the last collection. Good thing we don’t have much anymore.

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