Tag Archives: recycle

Shred papers, recycle tires & electronics at free event in Paramus on Sunday Aug 16

Spread The Word! Protect your identity at the free BCUA Recycling Event in Paramus: shred papers for free and also, safely recycle tires and electronics.

Sunday 16 August 16 2015
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ

shred confidential papersPrivacy experts recommend that individuals shred files, tax documents, credit cards, bank statements and other items which could be used to steal their identities. Residents will be able to observe their confidential documents being shredded on-site.

Documents acceptable for shredding at this event are limited to confidential and sensitive materials only. Non-confidential materials such as books, magazines, newspapers, etc., should be recycled through your local municipal recycling program and will not be accepted at this event. It is not necessary to remove paper clips, staples or paperboard binder covers. To accommodate all those wishing to participate, there is a limit of 4 bags or boxes of documents weighing no more than 10 lbs. each.

recycle electronicsAcceptable electronic equipment includes computers, monitors, printers, circuit boards, speakers, modems, mother boards, power supplies, photocopiers, fax machines, televisions, VCRs and DVD players, stereo equipment and cellular phones.

recycle tiresResidents will be limited to the recycling of four tires per person. Tires will be accepted with or without metal rims.

These recycling services are free and are for Bergen County residents only. No materials from businesses will be accepted. For further information about BCUA programs and for a schedule of future events, please call the BCUA Environmental Programs Hotline at 201-807-5825 or visit the BCUA Web site.

Responsible computer and e-waste disposal

e-waste-recycle binI was just about to give some old computers to someone who contacted me through Freecycle, claiming to be a recycler, when I learned at a seminar that a lot of electronic waste (e-waste) like computers and electronic gizmos contain highly toxic substances,

such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium and brominated flame retardants. When the latter are burned at low temperatures they create additional toxins, such as halogenated dioxins and furans – some of the most toxic substances known to humankind.

And, e-waste often ends up being shipped from the US to very poor countries where unskilled laborers – like pregnant women and little children – disassemble them and extract a few materials that are worth money to their employers, exposing themselves in the process to hazardous chemicals and the probability of shortened life expectancies. They are given neither danger warnings or protective gear.

70-80% of the e-waste that’s given to recyclers is exported to less developed countries. Once there, primitive technologies such as open air burning and riverside acid baths are used to extract a few materials. The rest of the toxic materials are usually dumped. Unlike other countries in the world, the U.S. sends a significant portion of its hazardous e-waste to U.S. prisons to process in less-regulated environments without the worker protections and rights afforded in the private sector. Moreover, such operations amount to government subsidies, undermining the development of responsible private-sector recycling infra-structure and distorting the economics of recycling.


The speaker at that seminar responsibly recycles e-waste, but only for big corporations. They’re not going to take just a few old, broken down laptops off my hands, so what should I do with them? Knowing the correct terminology is useful when searching: I googled “computer responsible recycling” and a few clicks later, learned that there is an e-waste steward right in my town. I’ve emailed that company and hope they’ll soon take those relics off my hands and dispose of them without destroying anyone or my family’s air and water supplies.

Responsible disposal resources

The moral of this story is: only give your old electronics to organizations or companies when you’re sure they will handle them responsibly, either by reconditioning them or breaking them down without poisoning anyone in the process. Use these resources to find a responsible disposal recipient:

You can give your computer away to be refurbished and shipped overseas if it’s reasonably new and works, or look over this guide to learn how to recycle your electronic item responsibly.

Green homes built with non-traditional materials

You can visit New Mexico and stay at a luxuriously furnished home built out of recycled and repurposed materials: the cost of a renting the home for a night is what you expect to pay for a room at a city hotel. You can also have one of these things built for you by their creator’s team.

Ever seen a movie where soldiers pile up bags of dirt as a barrier to enemy fire? Well, it turns out that if you pile up enough similar bags, also filled with dirt, in the right configuration you can end up with an Earthbag house, complete with windows and a door.