Check out our video interview with Mac/Apple Coach Ben Rosenthal of Sustainable Computing as we discuss all the options for dealing with old phones – how to clear your personal data and what choices you have for getting rid of them!
Who hasn’t opened a desk drawer to see a snarled rats nest of cables and electronic devices from the past? An intimidating and unappealing cable and device salad?
We live in a time of amazing technological advances but one of the drawbacks is that devices quickly become obsolete. Our consumer culture pressures us to keep replacing things, which creates a constant stream of electronic litter in our homes.
The charging and connecting cords that go with these items create an extra layer of frustration and confusion around the issue. Hot tip: when you get a new device, take the time to wrap the cables! Purging old electronics becomes so much simpler when you can quickly grab the device and all it’s parts and cables.
Many people get rid of the electronics but don’t search for the cables (and even the CDs that that go with them) to dispose of at the same time. They’re left with a box of cables they are afraid to get rid of. There might actually be a useful one in there for a device they still have. The box of chaos becomes a project for that mythical weekend when you’re going to organize your garage, sort your photos and finally deal with that box of cables. Yeah, right.
The simplest way to bundle cables is using twist ties. You can use the grocery store variety or a heavier duty kind – silicone twist ties, which are sturdy and easy to use. Ziploc bags work well to group accessories and software with the cables making it even easier to dispose of the group when the time comes.
It sounds like such a straightforward solution, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the most elegant. And they can save you from future frustration. Your time is precious, invest a little bit up front to save yourself hours later.
Technology changes so rapidly it seems we are constantly generating electronic waste. Other than avoiding buying new products to begin with, the main way to prevent ewaste ending up in landfill is to responsibly recycle it. Here are 3 local resources for properly disposing of your electronic waste.
Since 1995 OTX West has been redirecting computers and electronics away from landfill and into the hands of Oakland public schools and low income families.
They accept donations at their warehouse located at 1680 14th Street in West Oakland. They will pick up larger donations from businesses and organizations. They were recently featured in an article in the SF Chronicle.
All donations are tax deductible and there is no cost assciated with donating. They state they securely erase data from all hard drives.
OTX West accepts:
Convenient drop off location in west Berkeley near Gilman Ave. They take all manner of electronics; here’s a full list of accepted items. All donations are tax deductible. They also have a program for distributing refurbished computers to schools and individuals though it isn’t their main focus. Bonus – they also accept bubble wrap and packing peanuts.
El Cerrito Recycling Center (El Cerrito)
Basically this is the mothership of east bay recycling. Aside from a few controlled items you do NOT have to be an El Cerrito resident to drop items here. They accept all kinds of ewaste for free, however your donation is not tax deductible. Here is their full list of accepted items.
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