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The Power of Recycling

November 30th, 2021 · 5 Comments · Weird Things About Me

The Power of Recycling


I inherited a bunch of stuff when my dear friend Uta passed away a few years ago.  One thing was her old laptop.  I wiped it clean of her personal files, and always thought I might use it, but it’s a PC and I’m a Mac guy, and “once you go Mac you never go back,” and so the thing just sat here for years.

I finally went to sell it online, and when I opened it up there were now vertical lines through the screen, meaning it was either failing with age or maybe something banged it while it’s been sitting around.  Either way, I couldn’t really sell it, so I looked into how to recycle laptops, and the nearby Staples office supply store accepts them.

I planned a trip over there — it’s about 5 miles away — I hadn’t been since the pandemic, and there was a couple things I had to pick up anyway, and they also recycle pens (if you can believe that!), and batteries, and ink cartridges.  Ever since I learned about this upon relocating to Jokeville, I been throwing all three used items in an old coffee tin in the garage, and it was starting to overflow, so it was a good time to do a huge drop-off to their various recycling bins.

When I got about a half-mile from the store I started thinking about what they do with the old computers and figured they probably didn’t try to find them new homes.  I realized this thing still worked even though it had some lines through the screen, and maybe there’d be somebody who would love a free working laptop, rather than just dumping it for parts.  I almost turned around, but I was nearly at the store, so I kept going to at least drop off the pens, batteries & toner and pick up the couple of staples (ha-ha).

I talked to a manager there and he confirmed the old computers were broken down for parts.  He didn’t know what the hell they did with the old pens.  🙂

When I got home, I took a picture of the laptop, and posted it on the Free Stuff in Oakville Facebook group, and within a minute, people started asking for it, including a woman who said her grade 9 daughter “who’s a great kid” accidentally dropped hers.  “She was absolutely devastated,” including cuz all the other kids in her class are sitting with their laptops on their desks and she doesn’t have one, and how the family was saving up for a new one — but now the mother’s coming over to pick it up, and the unit will live an extended life in deserving & desirous young hands.

I could have just junked it — but because Staples recycled, and I had a ton of other stuff to take there anyway prompting me to make the drive over, and it was in that process that the lightbulb went on to find a user.

The lesson is — save up your batteries, pens & ink cartridges in the garage for a once-a-year drop-off — and if you’ve got something that still even barely works, list it on a “Free” group in your town (on Facebook or other), and there’s gonna be SOMEbody out there who could *really* use it and be ever so grateful for the chance.


recycled PC laptop


You may also enjoy — The Spilled Coffee Test  😉 

Or you can check out my YouTube channel for a buncha fun videos.

Or I’m an author of cool books about politics, music and the Beat Generation you’d probably like.  😉


by Brian Hassett   —

Or here’s my Facebook page if you wanna join in there —


5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Will Hodgson // Nov 30, 2021 at 9:04 PM

    Great story with a happy ending. Way to stay green!

  • 2 Suzanne Mirabelli // Dec 1, 2021 at 10:33 AM

    Thanks for the Staples tip. I had no idea. I’ll start to use that for sure. Oh and nice job helping out the laptopless girl.

  • 3 Debbie Vaz // Dec 1, 2021 at 8:07 PM

    Once you go Mac you never go back …. 🙂 🙂 🙂 … good one! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Glad to see you’re still Getting Things Done. Mama Carolyn would be proud.

  • 4 Robin Nagy // Dec 2, 2021 at 6:22 PM

    Nice reversal and sharing of fortunes.

  • 5 Per Villadsen // Dec 2, 2021 at 7:13 PM

    Way to go Brian. A lot of electronic waste ends up in third world countries polluting like hell.

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