"I've got a colleague in The Oregonian newsroom who has been driving around for months with an old computer printer in her trunk because she doesn't know where to recycle it"
This tells me two things:
1) My colleague has not read my copious blog entries on e-waste recycling resources. Curses!
2) Staples, which is offering a limited time, free printer take-back program when you buy a new one, might be on to something.
According to the company Web site, Staples has a pretty extensive in-store recycling program. They take back most computer-related electronics from any manufacturer, but for larger equipment (computers, fax machines, printers, scanners) there is a $10 handling charge per machine. (Notably, they'll take back Dell products at no charge).
• Now through May 2, 2009, Staples will skip the $10 charge for accepting your printer and give you a $50 rebate with the purchase of a new regular-price printer at the store.
• On April 22, Earth Day, the store will skip the $10 takeback charge on any one technology product it sells in any Staples store, including telephones, digital cameras, computers, laptops and GPS devices.
Staples says it collected more than 100,000 printers for recycling last spring during a similar event. The company says it recycles products through Eco International, which "disassembles the equipment into its component parts in the U.S. for environmentally responsible recycling."
• Other technology retailers and manufacturers offer takeback programs, for a fee or sometimes for free. Check the company Web sites that make or sell your product for details. Also, Metro regional government's "find a recycler" tool allows you to search for local recyclers by product and location.
• Staples doesn't accept televisions -- but no worries. Oregonians and Washingtonians can recycle TVs, computer monitors, desktops and laptops for free via new statewide programs. Visit Oregon E-Cycles or E-Cycle Washington to find a drop-off site near you.
• If your computer is still usable, keep in mind reuse organizations such as Portland's Free Geek that refurbish discarded computers for people who need them.
Abdul Bin Muammar