« Opening the Vista and Office Packages | Main | A Baseball Story: Joe and Me (and Roger) »

May 02, 2007

Recycling Computers

I had a couple of old computers lying around. You can tell how old they are by what was pre-installed on them: one had Windows NT 4.0 and the other had Windows Me. Although they nominally had some value, I think computers that old are so worthless that if you donate them to a charity, they just wind up in a ditch somewhere in the third world, leeching toxins into the groundwater.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the city of Redmond offers free curb-side recycling of electronics (for more details, go to this page and then click on the "Electronics" link towards the bottom. Evidently they send it off to a company called Total Reclaim). Although I generally object to taking things that work and turning them back into their component atoms (it seems evolutionarily backwards, as I was just commenting to my parents this evening on the subject of what to do with a very old car), the recycling offers the hope that at least the metals will be removed and properly recycled. I checked it out and if you call them 24 hours ahead, you can recycle up to 5 items. I had the 2 computers plus 3 old printers (a 1996 HP LaserJet, a 1998 HP ColorJet, and some free POC printer that Dell sent us with one of our old computers). I took the hard drives out first; both machines had different, but equally difficult, steps you had to follow to 1) get the cover off 2) get the face plate off and 3) expose the screws holding the hard drives in. Some impressive dust bunnies in there also.

Here they are sitting on the curb, waiting for the axe to fall:

You notice how gosh-darn perky they look, especially the one on the right. It had been sitting in our garage for a couple of years while I wondered what to do with it. I'm reminded of the "When She Loved Me" scene in Toy Story 2 where Jessie finally gets fished out from under the bed, which I confess brought a tear to my eye. "Oh boy!" the computer is thinking, "Finally I will get to compute again! I wonder what my new owner will look like...they must have put me out on the curb so he or she can pick me up. Hmmm, it's getting dark...now it's pouring rain...well, I suppose I can dry up once I get inside. Oh look, here comes a big truck to get me! Now they are tossing me into a AAAGGGHHH OMG WTF HELP!!! [silence]..."

Posted by AdamBa at May 2, 2007 09:51 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Argh...there I was, thinking this would be a good solution for that old eMachine sitting in my garage, and then I got to the last paragraph and began sniffling. I just can't do it to the old girl...

Posted by: Jeanie at May 6, 2007 07:21 PM