The New E-waste Landscape
Recycle Ann Arbor recently simplified its fees to properly dispose of electronics delivered to its Drop-Off Station and to Calvert's Roll-Off Containers on Jackson Road. The nonprofit's ReUse Center on South Industrial Highway also accepts some electronics without a fee but "no TVs or printers," cautions general manager Becky Andrews. (She suggests those hoping to drop off electronics call ahead before making the trip.) Best Buy and Staples also accept some electronics at no charge. And last year, Habitat for Humanity's ReStore on Jackson Rd. began accepting e-waste seven days a week, gratis-while simultaneously earning a little money to support its affordable housing mission.
In the past, "we didn't take in electronics," says Sarah Stanton, the ReStore's executive director of development. "It's not what we do, but Habitat Michigan hooked us up with Vintage Tech about a year and half ago."
A private company headquartered in Romeoville, Illinois, outside Chicago, Vintage Tech supplies the ReStore with a fifty-three-foot trailer, pallets, and boxes to hold donated electronics. While several local nonprofits-the Kiwanis Thrift Sale, the Share House, and St. Vincent de Paul among them-accept only a few kinds of electronics (think clock radios), the partnership with Vintage Tech allows the ReStore to accept almost everything.