Streams

Unwanted Electronic Gear Piles Up

Monday, March 25, 2013

television (autowitch/flickr)

Lauren Roman, managing director of Transparent Planet LLC, discusses the problem of how to dispose of and recycle flat screen televisions, computer monitors, and other electronic trash. Broken monitors and televisions with cathode ray tubes used to be recycled profitably, but flat-screen technology has made those monitors and televisions obsolete, drastically lowering the demand for the recycled tube glass and creating stockpiles of useless materials across the country.

Guests:

Lauren Roman

Comments [19]

Chris W from Manhattan

What about household batteries, ( AA, AAA, C & D), used in flashlights, remote controls, cameras, toys. I have a lot of dead batteries -- both heavy duty & alkaline -- and now I'm starting to use NiCad. I'm saving them because I'm leery of just throwing them in the trash.

What is the proper way to dispose of these household batteries?

I have recently purchased rechargeables.

Mar. 25 2013 01:54 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

@Matt: there is a company in Red Hook called ombligo.com that recycles old computer/IT equipment and even turns it into employee buy back programs for large corporations...Re-use is the best recycling!

Mar. 25 2013 01:19 PM
Jf from Truthland

Corporations put this toxic waste into the world and into the hands of barely sentient morons. They need to be prosecuted untill they take complete ownership of the problem they are creating.

Mar. 25 2013 01:01 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

There should be cash incentives for customers to recycle & a manufacturer's fee for the cost of recycling.
In California there is a recycling fee on monitors, but it's only half the solution. The fee should be doubled and the consumer should be paid back half of it when he brings his monitor in for recycling!

The razor/blade pricing scheme should be outlawed or penalized!
For years people here throwing out perfectly fine working ink printers, just because it was cheaper to find a new printer on sale, than buying an expensive replacement ink cartridge!
Similar with cell phones, which are probably the biggest environmental hazard right now, with all those poisonous lithium ion batteries...
most people wouldn't want to replace their phone every other year, if they wouldn't get it for "free" (highly subsidized, paying through the nose for 2 years)

Also, you should be able to turn in your broken device to your place of purchase for free. Germany has this policy for old batteries for decades!

Mar. 25 2013 12:51 PM
Jf from A paralell universe

It enrages me to hear it being put up to normal people to take care of their toxic waste. It is obvious that all trash needs to be robotically mechanically seperated. We are barely sentiend species of selfish toddlers.corporations give toxic waste to,idiots like us and ask us to deal with it responsability.

Mar. 25 2013 12:48 PM
Irwin from Upper West Side

I am a volunteer at the Fixers Collective in Brooklyn. We try to fix things to keep them out of the landfill. Part of recycling is actually fixing. There is also the Self-Repair Manifesto which amongst other points asks for the right to have access to all the repair manuals, troubleshooting instructions, etc. to allow anyone to attempt to fix your own stuff.

Mar. 25 2013 12:42 PM
Scott Wilson from Morristown, NJ

Samsung just sponsored a collection day here in our town two weeks ago! They held a drawing and giveaway of a huge new flat panel Samsung TV and one of their new tablets drawn from entries taken from all of the local participants of the event! We all had to fill out and sign an oath of personal and family environmental stewardship. Hats off to Samsung and the other companies who are doing this. Yes, they do get a PR bump from this, as well.

Mar. 25 2013 12:38 PM
RJ from prospect hts

Please don't leave out the freecycle option. It may not be a mass collection entity, but it does deal with the issue of needing a car: the person who wants the item *picks it up.* freecycle.org

Mar. 25 2013 12:37 PM
Carol from Park Slope

My point of view is that we are so fortunate to have these recycling places and events. We have to be creative. Get your neighbors together and pool your e-waste materials and go in one person's car - or get a couple of people together and take car service, or for those hardy people take a shopping cart and walk it.

Mar. 25 2013 12:35 PM
Neil R from Eastchester, NY

Just wanted to let listeners know there is a solution to the recycling of leaded CRT glass. A company in the UK, Nulife Glass is able to melt this glass, recover the lead and re-use that now unleaded glass for other purposes.

So, in the event that the Indian CRT company ends production US CRT glass can be recycled using the Nulife Glass process.

Mar. 25 2013 12:33 PM
John A

National Cristina Foundation
was a great org for recycling working computers when I used them a couple of years ago.

Mar. 25 2013 12:32 PM
Matt from Manhattan

What about for corporations? I manage a small IT department, and regularly have to figure out where to get rid of old equipment.

Mar. 25 2013 12:29 PM
John A.

I do see a lot of recycled computers and probably 85% of the components and 40% of all the complete computers are in working condition. These should make it to the needy.

Mar. 25 2013 12:27 PM
Michelle from Hoboken, NJ

I live in Hoboken NJ and we used to be able to recycle paint and batteries at a waste center but now they won't take them and we are directed to throw them in the garbage. How can I recycle in a state that won't support even the basics

Mar. 25 2013 12:27 PM
Penny Jones from downtown

Does anyone know where I can read reviews--written by environmentalists--of metal recycling companies, so that I can buy stock of responsible companies?

Mar. 25 2013 12:27 PM
RJ from prospect hts

Folks should know about the international phenomenon of "freecycling" in which people offer and request things they want or need. Many computer people are members, either amateurs or whomever, and will pick up your remainders to rehab or cannibalize or whatever: http://www.freecycle.org/.
We also, locally, have the Lower East Side Ecology Center, which runs recycling collection regularly at farmers' markets and has also set up a permanent collection warehouse (including standard batteries) at President Street and Nevins in Brooklyn http://www.lesecologycenter.org/index.php/ewaste.html.

Mar. 25 2013 12:25 PM
Cyndy

Automobile makers will also need to come up with a plan on what to do with the batteries in their hybrids. Seems like we trade one environmental negative impact for another.

Mar. 25 2013 12:21 PM
fuva from harlemworld

The city is sponsoring SAFE DISPOSAL EVENTS IN THE SPRING:

Saturday
March 30
10am-4pm
Queens
Citi Field, Parking Lots E & F
corner of Roosevelt Ave & Shea Rd; cars enter at parking gate 4 on Shea Rd

Sunday
April 7
10am-4pm
Brooklyn
Prospect Park, Park Circle
corner of Parkside Ave & Prospect Park SW; cars approach from Ocean Ave & Lincoln Rd

Sunday
April 14
10am-4pm
Staten Island
Staten Island Mall, Parking Lot F
near main entrance, 2655 Richmond Ave; cars enter at Marsh Ave, turn right on the mall drive

Saturday
April 20
10am-4pm
Bronx
Yankee Stadium, 151st Street Lot
River Ave and 151st St; cars approach from 150th St up River Ave

Sunday
April 28
10am-4pm
Manhattan
Columbia University/Teachers College
120th St between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave; cars approach from 122nd St down Amsterdam Ave

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/events/bwprr_safe.shtml

Mar. 25 2013 12:20 PM
John A

Do all the poorer countries that didn't have computers and TVs now have them, from our discards?

Mar. 25 2013 12:12 PM

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