For those of you with a stack of old iPads in your junk drawer and no idea how to safely dispose of them, you now need look no further than Maria Hernandez Park. On April 13, 2013 the Lower East Side Ecology Center, in partnership with the Bushwick Eco Action Network and sponsored by Tekserve, will hold an E-Waste Recycling event in the park from 10 AM to 4 PM.
You can drop off any of your old computers, printers, fax machines, tablets, VCRs, video-games, cell-phones, pages, and more. But don’t bring home appliances – they won’t take microwaves or air conditioners because they don’t pose the same environmental risk that other electronics do.
Worried that some nefarious vintage elctronics collecter is gonna snag your old computer and find out that you were sending dirty emails to your cousin in 1999? Well, have no fear. The Ecology Center’s in-house technicians wipe the hard drive of any computer that’s up for refurbishment. All of the other electronics are destroyed by the recycling companies.
So why should you lug all your old e-waste to the park on a Saturday, when you could be darning your socks and adopting a kitten? Well, come on, time management yo, do all three. Because electronic waste is actually a huge problem and it’s getting worse. Technology is changing faster and faster, and, thanks in part to planned obsolescence, about 50 million tons of E-waste are produced each year. Plus recycling this stuff is not easy, because it’s all chock full of carcinogens. Even China, a country that’s not exactly notorious for environmental conscientiousness, has banned e-waste imports.
But disposing of e-waste through the LES Ecology Center is one great way to combat a big problem. The Center only works with two e-waste recyclers, each of which are subject to standards requiring that they process the electronics domestically and responsibly. Plus, there is no limit to how much material you can bring, and you can receive a tax deduction! For those who can’t make it on the 13th, they also offer the option to drop off e-waste at their warehouse in Gowanus every week from Tuesday through Saturday. It’s such an easy way to do a smidgen of good for your favorite planet.