Hazardous Consumption

Black Friday, Cyber Monday…Tis the Season to spend money la la la la la la la la la! What ads did you shop?  Almost all the big name retailers out there are advertising the all-time “lowest” prices available for TVs, Blu Rays, Laptops, Cell Phones, X-Box, PlayStation, Wii, etc. Admittedly, there are some great deals out there; so many that you may feel queasy about what you recently spent on your current electronic gear. You may even be swayed, as many are, to upgrade to the most recent version of the recent version upgrade you just purchased not so long ago. Keeping up Jones’ (or I guess the Kardashian’s today) requires maintaining your electronic repertoire in a socially consumptive manner. Out with the old and in with the new for the New Year right? Wrong!

Sure you might upgrade from last year’s version of the latest and greatest of gadgets, tossing the others to the curb without looking back, but they and their poisonous contents don’t simply go away because you throw them away. See, the sneaky thing about all these must have wonders is that they are ultimately made up of hazardous materials that when thrown away compose hazardous waste! Yes, yes all of those televisions, cell phones, laptops, and other goodies contain harmful substances and carcinogens such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and other skull and cross bone substances! Very comforting to know that most of us have these items in abundance in our homes and we play with them daily!

Think back a few years when in order to be able to actually watch TV we were given the option of getting the sleek skinny new flat panel TVs or digital converter boxes (or crazy subscriptions for cable) so that we could happily continue to watch hours upon hours of television daily. A large percentage of Americans purchased new TVs and trashed their old ones (some were recycled, many were not) at this time. Well unknown or perhaps ignored by many was the weight in lead contained in those old tubes -about 4-8 pounds! Talk about a substance we don’t like to have in our presence, I mean most landlords require tenants to sign a waiver of liability if the dwelling may have had lead paint at one time-I don’t ever recall signing a waiver when buying a TV! Worse yet I don’t ever recall receiving information about how to dispose of an old TV when buying a new one!

Don’t fret! If you, like many others (myself included) have purchased a TV recently and intend to keep upgrading all of your electronic goodies (tablets, blu rays, dvd, MP3, laptops, HDMI, gaming consoles, etc.) you can do so wisely. Hey, it is your money after all-spend as you wish, but please dispose of your old gear in a responsible (and legal) manner. Many manufactures today are required to provide recycling programs that allow you to evict your old stuff in a safe and proper manner and many disposal companies and landfills won’t allow you to dispose of your e-waste openly. Please don’t drop them on the side of the road! Check out the following links to see where you can responsibly and legally dispose of used electronics.

or Call Metro Recycling: 503-234-3000

Donation agencies such as Goodwill are decent venues for passing off your old reliables as well. The following link can help you find a donation center and estimates how your donation impacts the environment!

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