A number of articles have appeared recently about recycling issues, the latest being the Sept. 10 "Walkabout" column by Diana Nelson Jones ("New Curbside Ban Stirs Worries of Vast Wasteland of TVs"). To be sure, people are learning the hard way that they can no longer put their old TV sets at curbside and expect them to be collected.
But TVs and old computer equipment are not the only culprits. Now we are getting more and more fluorescent lamps with their poisonous components -- CFLs in addition to the traditional tubes -- and little is being said or done about their safe disposal. The problem will get much worse as the mandatory phaseout of incandescent lamps takes effect. Add to these the many kinds of batteries containing corrosive chemicals or heavy metals -- all "poison"! Or the lead-acid batteries such as are used for power backup for our desktop computers.
Some retailers provide recycling waste containers, but they are few and they accept only a few types of materials. If all retailers selling these products would have disposal stations, then we consumers could simply return the old products when we go to buy new ones. Simple, no? It would be great if they would do this voluntarily, rather than having it legislated.
But ... if we don't have a way to safely dispose of these hazardous products -- conveniently and free -- then people will surely take the easy way out and secretly throw them into the everyday garbage, and they'll end up in the landfills.
NIC (JOHN) NICOLAUS