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Making the call to recycle

Making the call to recycle

I was delighted with my haul from Santa this Christmas: A pair of Star Wars lightsabres for my Wii, the latest read from Conn Iggulden, running shoes, chocolate with soft gooey mint centres (my favourite) … and not a sock or infuriating Kung Zhu in sight.

However, the bright star atop my pile of presents was none of these. I must admit it was something of a treat for me, but the big red guy kindly left me a spiffy new tablet. Mentioning no brand names, it’s a tidy piece of tech and I can’t wait to get it working for its keep this year.

Of course, as one thing comes into the office, another thing goes. So, it has also been time to pension off an old desktop PC and printer. Throw in a now-of-no-use fax machine, a redundant CD/DVD player and modem, a few cables, adaptors, a pile of floppies, a cellphone and a few other bits, bytes and bobs, and I had plenty to throw out in my spring-ish ‘better-late-than-never’ cleanout.

Of course, I would have used eDay had it fitted in with my gift-receiving schedule. Once again, the November recycling extravaganza proved a worthy event. The official stats show 17,787 cars dropped off 76,899 items across the country. Well done to everyone who took part; it was a fantastic effort. In all, roughly 900 tonnes of e-waste was diverted from our landfills – enough to fill 110 shipping containers.

Sadly, the Government estimates that there are still 80,000 tonnes of electronic waste dumped into our landfills annually. When I packed the car with my old tech to take to the dump for recycling, the place was pretty much deserted – I guess most people were at the beach … except for the guy with the clipboard who emerged from the hut by the entrance barrier.

“Yes,” he said.

“I’ve got some computer gear for recycling,” I explained.

“Did you call?” the guy asked.

‘Er, no … just thought I would bring it over.”

“You should have called to arrange for a pick up.”

“Oh well, saves someone a trip,” I tried to sound willing and helpful.

“We only take this stuff if you call.”

“But I’m here now.”

For a few moments he perused the paper clipped to his board.

“We have a number to call for recycling, so we know what’s coming in.”

He then told me the number. I looked longingly at the area just a few metres away on the other side of the yellow barrier. All I wanted to do was drop off my stuff and get off down the beach.

There was only one thing for it. I grabbed my cellphone from my pocket.

“Can you say that again?” I asked.

As he called out the number I dialled. A few seconds later the phone rang in his hut.

“That’s a call coming in,” he said with a smile and dashed off …


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