On the way back from lunch yesterday I found this retro-tastic piece of obsolete technology, an 8 track player, sitting curbside all forlorn and hoping to escape the landfill. Of course, I had to take it back, just because it was free and would offer an opportunity to take it apart for some DIY reuse without any investment except space. Plus I'm admittedly fond of the funky analog quality of it all. But it got me thinking: if it took this long for my neighbor to finally kick the 8 track curbside, how long would it be before I'd do the same with current tech equipment? And what do the majority of us do when we finally upgrade our electronic equipment?
Some of us end up keeping our old tech equipment in the garage, basement or attic for safe keeping. Others donate or give to friends, while others eBay or sell it. But a great deal of folks just chuck it in the garbage (thus resulting in my fortune of finding the obsolete machine and even a complete vintage stereo cabinet last year).
We ask you avoid throwing away electronics when possible, since as much as 6% toxic waste and up to 80 percent of US electronic waste collected for "recycling" is dumped in Asia and Africa. If you're fortunate enough to live in the tech-savvy Bay Area, you can drop off your tech in green fashion with a service like Green Citizen. LA and San Diego citizens can contact E-Waste Green and New York City and New Jersey State have even passed take-back laws requiring computer, TV and MP3 manufacturers to take responsibility for their products.