Recycling business detritus

When in the course of business events it becomes necessary for one party to dispose of that which once seemed necessary, the question is always: What the heck do I do with all this stuff?

It used to be easy to donate computers — nobody was really all that picky about what they got, as it was all expensive and useful. Nowadays, that’s no longer the case. I find that more and more we’re paying people to take our old hardware off our hands. (Occasionally I have had success in getting people to “acquire” my equipment/furniture/manuals/swag. I do this by leaving it somewhere with a lot of traffic and making it look valuable. Alternatively, selling it on Ebay seems to work pretty well.)

Cell phones are still pretty easy to donate. There are a lot of organizations that’ll take your cell phone off your hands and give it to someone who needs it. Good thing, too — these small phones make terrible doorstops.

The most annoying thing to me was always toner — toner cartridges are really easy to recycle if you know how to do that. But finding a place that will take my old stuff has been complicated by my extreme frugality — I simply refuse to pay for shipping.

Yesterday, however, I learned of a wonderful initiative. Costco just started a program to take old cartridges — laser AND inkjet. So this morning I printed off a couple of labels, filled boxes with old empty cartridges (amazingly, we had 10 lying around the office), walked out to the mail drop in our office, and noticed the postal truck across the street. Five minutes after I started, the cartridges were out of my office forever. What service!