Thankfully, it's starting to get easier to find places that recycle old computers, cell phones, and other small electronics. Unfortunately, most recyclers still send the waste overseas to be recycled AND it's difficult to find a one-stop source for harder to recycle objects like old VHS tapes, cassette tapes, and CDs.
Greendisk is the answer to this conundrum. We recently set up one of their Technotrash Cans in the foyer of our three-family home. Yes, you do need to pay to recycle. The Technotrash Can costs $49.95 and you can put up to 70 pounds of electronic waste in the box. The cost includes shipping the waste back to Greendisk. (They arrange to pick the box up for you, making the process painless.) Greendisk claims stringent environmental policies, assuring us that first and foremost they try to give new life to old products, and then if that fails, they conduct all their recycling in the United States. Besides the Technotrash can, they also have a variety of other options for recycling your electronic waste (e.g. you can send just a single computer in your own box.)
For those of you who balk at the idea of having to pay to recycle, please realize that there is a cost to our consumption. If we are going to buy gadgets it is our responsibility to figure out the most conscientious way to dispose of those gadgets when they reach the end of their useful life. And we believe Greendisk is one of those ways.
For a complete list of what Greendisk recycles, click here. (It is the most comprehensive list that we've ever found.)
If you've used Greendisk, how was your experience?