If you’re a big recycling enthusiast, you may be wondering what happened to the e-waste events San Diego residents like yourself once relied on. While these environmentally sound recycling events played a huge role in improving our trash situation, they’ve given way to something with even more potential. Here’s how Recycle San Diego is changing things for the better.
Why E-Waste Events in San Diego Were a Good Idea
Traditionally, consumer electronic waste presented huge problems for communities like those in the San Diego area. Although businesses and private citizens had plenty of recycling bins for their paper, cans, and bottles, they couldn’t say the same for their old computer parts, radios and TVs. All too often, their only recourse was to haul these electronics down to the municipal recycling center and pay a large fee or even worse, use the dumpster.
In 2006, Recycle San Diego changed the game by hosting free events specifically for such specialized waste. By teaming up with schools, non-profits and other organizations, we made it easier for people to take care of their potentially hazardous trash the right way while raising cash for our non-profit friends. Instead of letting their electronics bleed harmful heavy metals, plastics and chemicals into the local water table, they could simply head to one of our events and trust that their old appliances would be recycled safely. Catching onto what was clearly a great idea, our competitors followed suit, and soon, there were plenty of e-waste events San Diego citizens could count on to take care of their unwanted electronics.
What Was Wrong with the Old Model?
Nowadays, Recycle San Diego doesn’t host many e-waste events, and other competitors that used to do so have given up the practice as well. Why stop a good thing if it worked so well? Unfortunately, e-waste events weren’t necessarily the most efficient solution to an undeniably massive problem. Also, the competition that sprang from this model wasn’t the most reputable. Most of the time you didn’t know who you were giving your computer to, some events were organized by people with criminal records who sold the scrap to the highest bidder. The profitability of these events dropped so these competitors simply stopped doing events.
Electronics are becoming increasingly prevalent in our modern lives. New devices come out practically every week, and we have more phones, monitors, tablets and alarm clocks than we know what to do with. One-day community events don’t always provide people sufficient time to recycle all this old junk, especially with local traffic. Even when our firm hosted events on a weekly basis, we found that many of our customers thought that e-waste events were the only time they could dispose of the e-waste. They thought they had to wait to find out when one was happening near them.
Another major issue with our free electronic waste recycling events was that working with schools and non-profit organizations made it more difficult to maintain a consistent schedule without disrupting other community gatherings. For instance, long lines of cars trying to drop off e-waste weren’t really conducive to little league games or extracurricular school activities. As a result, we weren’t able to provide concrete schedules ahead of time, and our patrons naturally found it impossible to attend if they didn’t know when the next e-waste event would occur. Eventually, low turnout, increased competition, and poor revenues prompted us to discontinue the program entirely.
Moving Forward for the Better
Fortunately, Recycle San Diego isn’t resting on its laurels. We’ve conquered the logistics problems by creating a pool of convenient, free e-waste drop-off locations all around the city. Now, our patrons can dispose of their electronics on their own time, and a choice of 18+ different drop-off spots means that they don’t have to fiddle around with tricky scheduling problems just to help the environment.
Our e-waste locations are open seven days a week, so it’s easier for busy parents and businesspeople to get rid of their electronic waste on the way back from the office or in between ferrying the kids around town. We understand that trash never stops piling up, so we’ve devised the most responsive, simple solution possible.
Finally, the fact that Recycle San Diego e-waste drop points are clearly marked and easy to find means that you always know your trash is being disposed of responsibly. Instead of wondering whether the host of some random e-waste event is going to sell your junk to a less-than-reputable scrap dealer, you can remain confident in the fact that our state-approved recyclers consistently do the right thing.
Community e-waste events may be a thing of the past, but San Diego’s spirit of ecological responsibility is still going strong. Find the free Recycle San Diego e-waste drop-off location in your neighborhood to do your part.