Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Taking Out the Technotrash

Am I the only one who truly detests jewel CD cases? I spent a good deal of the past few days freeing my CDs from that awful packaging. This has been bugging me for a while, and our upcoming move finally provided the excuse I needed to find a better way to store all those music and software disks. But as always happens, I created a secondary problem: a mountain of empty plastic cases that would end up in a landfill somewhere if I didn't find an alternative means of trashing them.

Enter Google, my default bailout service. I glanced at a few sites that suggested recycling jewel cases by doing all sorts of disturbing decor-related things with them. I persisted. Surely there's a better use for a jewel case than as a tacky means of displaying one or two collectible coins worth, oh, let's say hundreds of dollars.

Then I found it: GreenDisk.com, a Washington-state company that provides packaging and pickup of all manner of recyclable "technotrash"--computers, printers, CDs, hard drives, zip disks, floppy disks, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, empty printer cartridges, cables, cords, chips, boards--you name it. Yes, you have to pay for the service, but from what I can gather (I was too busy sorting CDs to read all the details), through an arrangement with the postal service, the shipping charges are minimal. You have the confidence of knowing that the hardware will be disposed of responsibly and that any sensitive information contained on data storage media like hard drives will be protected and disposed of securely.

I'll let you know how my GreenDisk experience turns out. Seems impressive, though. Even though there are other companies that provide some technology recycling services, I've yet to find one this comprehensive.

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