Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Setup Your Own Free E-Waste Collection Events

Here's an idea that may work for you. Over the last months I've accumulated 100+ computers. I never pay for them so, if there's a monitor, I take it as well. I know that some folks actually scrap the monitors too, but for me, it's just too much work and too toxic to deal with so I save them up and take them in on a free e-waste day in a nearby town.

This time I took in 32 monitors. Turns out it was a big Southern California e-waste company and they were getting tons of computers and other e-waste for free. I'm in a small very rural Northern California county of only 20,000+ people and when I got there on the second day, they had filled enough pallets with giant cardboard boxes full of e-waste to fill a couple of 40 foot semi-truck flatbeds! That's a lot of e-waste.

Many of the people brought their computers, printers, laptops, etc. from neighboring towns anywhere from 20 to 35 miles away. It struck me that I could setup free e-waste days in my town and then at some point take what I didn't want to salvage (like the monitors) to the BIG free e-waste day like I did the other day with the monitors.

In my area there are plenty of businesses with a little yard or parking lot space that would allow me to have a periodic local free e-waste day. Another option would be to partner with a local community agency, church or thrift store and share the profits with them.

Up until now I've been advertising in the county saying that "I can save you the trip to the free e-waste collection or save you the dump fee - I'll take away your e-waste for free." Doing that I get several computers each week, but nothing compared to what I saw collected the other day. Looking at what was brought in for the free e-waste day and comparing it to what I've collected over the same period, I'd say I maybe had collected in 6 months about 2% of what they collected in 2 days.

I'm going to give it a try in my town and if it works out, I'll hold them in other towns in the county as well. Maybe something like this will work for you too.

Best of Luck


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