Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What? A Dump?

According to reruns on Nick at Night, there once was a time when clever, blue collar men came home from work only to spend their evenings repairing the toaster, the television, or anything else that happened to break.

Maybe that never actually happened, or maybe small appliance repair was once a standard course in middle school. More likely the array and complexity of mechanical tools (bread machine, anyone) would make home repair a fulltime job requiring multiple degrees.

Whatever the reason, we simply don’t repair most of the things in our home. Why fix a toaster when a replacement is available for $10… and just look at all those new features!

We don’t let the busted alarm clocks, lamps, and waffle irons pile up in our closets. No, we let them pile up at the dump. Somewhere in Elk River lies my broken hand mixer.

Now that causes serious green guilt. So what’s the alternative?

I looked into it, and here is what I learned:
  • Maybe your city will take it, but probably not. Only set small appliances out with your recycling bin if your area recycling includes them in their list of recyclables (mine doesn't). Otherwise, they will most likely end up in the landfill.
  • In the Twin Cities, check out J.R.’s Appliance. J.R.’s offers curbside or dropoff recycling for pretty much anything that’s recyclable, including stereos, radios, and VCRs. According to their website, e-waste is free! Metro drop off is in Inver Grove Heights and costs about $10 for large appliances (it may be cheaper for smaller stuff)
  • Not in the metro? Just google “scrap, metal, recycling” plus your city and something is bound to turn up in your area (except maybe in Veblen).
  • Feeling clever? If you have some time on your hands How to Mend It provides instructions on how to mend just about anything!
It’s good for me to simply remember not to throw first and ask these questions later. Too bad I didn’t know about J.R.’s during the great cheesecake snafu of 2005; my hand mixer would be living a new life as your tire rims (or something) rather than taking up space in Elk River!


b79 said...
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Sarah said...
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