Old Electronics Have Homes Waiting
Whether for reuse or recycling, better than throwing them away
ANCHORAGE - It’s no surprise that many of us have electronic items on our holiday wish list, things like new smart phones, tablet computers or a flat screen television. But getting the latest gadgets brings up another issue, what to do with the older items that have now become obsolete.
Catherine McDermott said that was her dilemma. She’s been holding on to a stash of aging electronics in her basement and wondering what to do with them.
“All of our equipment was at least 10 years old,” said McDermott. “I did try to take it to the Salvation Army first, which is why I wound up at Total Reclaim.”
Most thrift stores won’t accept old TV’s or computers, but at Total Reclaim they are welcome. For a nominal fee or even free the people at Total Reclaim like to say they can recycle almost anything that has a plug. The recycling business breaks down components that can be used again and keeps items out of the landfill.
If you have a laptop computer that is three years old or newer you might consider donating it to a program that will match it up with foster children. Sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage), the laptops can help high school and college-age students stay connected.
“They are great for school work and to stay connected with family,” said Facing Foster Care in Alaska’s Amanda Metivier. “They can give a sense of normalcy in terms of being able to participate in social networking. It’s also a place where they can collect them and take them with them as they move to a different placement.”
For more information on the laptop program for foster kids you can call Representative Gara’s office at 269-0106.
Old cell phones are another item that tend to accumulate. Many stores let customers turn working phones in for store credit, but AT&T has a program called Cell Phones for Soldiers. Even phones that don’t work can be donated, with the profits from recycling used to buy long distance calling cards for soldiers overseas.
The AWAIC shelter also accepts old cell phones. They put the profits they get from recycling those right back into their programs.