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Recycling electronics


Q. I have an old computer that’s too archaic to give to a school. What’s the best way to get rid of it without putting all kinds of toxins and chemicals into soil and water via landfills? I heard something on NPR about an electronics recycling program in New York, but I don’t know where to go for that. – Meredith, NYC 

A. The program you’re thinking of is Green Screens weekend, which will take place on November 15th and 16th in all five boroughs of New York City (e-waste Mecca that it is). That means that whether you live in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Queens, there will be a drop-off center set up somewhere very near your home that weekend. Green Screens’ friendly helpers will be waiting there for you and your e-waste, so rummage through your closets and bring old TVs, cameras, phones, VCRs, and any other tech-y junk you can find. Kudos to you, by the way, for caring. Most Americans don’t worry too much about what they do with their e-waste, which is why about 88 percent of it winds up in landfills. Gross.   

As part of our ruthless campaign to make e-waste recycling embarrassingly easy for you, here are all the details you’ll need: 

Manhattan
Saturday Only: Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Plaza
W. 126th St. between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. and Malcolm X Blvd.
Sunday Only: Cooper Square
Cooper Square between E. 6th and 7th Sts.

The Bronx
Saturday & Sunday: Joyce Kilmer Park
Grand Concourse between E. 161st and 163rd Sts.

Brooklyn
Saturday & Sunday: McCarren Park
Bedford Ave. near N. 12th Street

Staten Island
Saturday & Sunday: Staten Island Mall
2655 Richmond Ave. at Parking Lot F

Queens
Saturday & Sunday: Cunningham Park
Union Turnpike between 196th Pl. and 197th St 

The program only runs from 8am to 2pm each day—because you’ll obviously have been out raging into the wee hours the evening before, make sure you set your alarm. What the heck, make an e-waste event out of it. Get a group of friends together, and organize a tech-junk brunch: hit the drop-off center with your toxic rubbish, and then head to your local eatery for waffles and even more toxic daytime cocktails. 

If you don’t live in NYC but have e-waste you’d like to get off your hands, don’t fret. There are tons of resources for you, too. The EPA’s eCycling webpage is a great place for anyone to find information on recycling programs near them. - Tobin Hack 

Eco-inquiries, conundrums, snafus? Write to askplenty@plentymag.com.