Stems and All

My journey to buy less, consume smart, use what's there.

Responsible recycling of your electronic e-waste

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In my quest to declutter and streamline and move towards a more sustainable household, I recently decided to tackle all of the ‘random’ electronics that had accumulated over the years. I, like many of us living in this century, was guilty of owning an assortment of random electronic equipment and parts. Inkjet printers. Power cords and connectors. Old electronic devices. Random connectors and accessories. Sadly, the list goes on…


I tackled the problem by rounding up anything that was no longer serving a purpose in our house, and putting this in one large box/area. This included everything from random power cords for devices that were long gone, to an old Palm Pilot (yes, a Palm Pilot) that I hadn’t used in years.

I then sorted into smaller piles to be dealt with over the next weeks, and also vowed to seriously think twice before letting any new electronic device or equipment come into the house in the future.

This is what the piles looked like:

Several items were in perfect working condition, just no longer serving a purpose in our home. I sent out an email with a list of the items to friends, family and neighbors, asking if anyone could use the items. If they did, I used the ‘handoff’ of the items as an excuse to schedule time to see and catch up with friends.

Any working items that I couldn’t find a home for in my network of friends or neighbors, I put into the “Donate” box which I would take to the donation center during my annual donate trip.

Anything that was broken, cracked, or totally outdated (i.e. first generation Palm Pilot), made it to the EWaste pile. I researched my options for responsible e-waste recycling near me, and found some great resources, including GreenCitizen. They were super friendly on the phone, took everything I had back, and after researching, are really a great company that’s doing amazing things towards sustainability and green living.

Do a search to find out where you can responsibly recycle your e-waste, and start to de-clutter and simplify your house and life.

Resources I found useful near my home:
Bay Area: offers several drop off locations throughout the bay area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, San Mateo and Santa Clara:

Apple Recycling Program:
Apple offers a great recycling program for older or no longer used products. If there’s value left for the item, they’ll give you a product card for future use. Or, if there’s no value left for the product or if it’s damaged or broken, they’ll take the items back and recycle responsibly for you. We also had two older model iPhones that were cracked and were no longer working, and we were able to send them to Apple (in pre-paid envelopes).

Author: Jane Newcomb

“Stems and All” is my personal journey to become a more environmentally responsible human, live a more sustainable life, and practice sustainable consuming habits.

One Comment

  1. i read your article and loave it so much ,thank you so much.

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