October 28th, 2011

housework, busy

Discardia Continues

Although my temp job has ended. I am continuing the work of Discardia at home. Sorting files, culling books, destroying unopened junk mail from 2004. Today I tackled a stash of old letters and photos -- some of the toughest stuff to sort. You know the kind of thing: postcards of a covered bridge since washed away by floods, notes swearing undying love to and from my ex-husband, photos of Gabriel as a kitten hoping to pounce on our dear cat Target, who died at 19 in 1998.

And house pictures. Photos chronicling the house in all weathers, showing new improvements and changes. Photos of my ex-husband working on stuff for the house. We didn't have kids; we had a permanent home-improvement project. And we loved that. It just wasn't enough.

I also have been sorting and discarding bigger things, with some help from a recycling service. I wrote a review:

They're Like Santa Claus in Reverse!

Santa brings new toys you want. I Got E-Waste takes away the broken or outdated electronics you're glad to get rid of.

Yesterday I found the I Got E-Waste website and requested a pickup. Today they came and took away a heap of electronic waste: 2 old monitors, a dead 32-inch TV set, 2 ancient desktop computers, 3 keyboards, and a box of miscellaneous junk, including cables, SCSI Zip drives, an early CD drive (300 bucks when it was new in the mid-1990s), a primitive early Wacom tablet, chargers for first-generation Palm Pilots, and more.

All this cost me nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

I did not have to wrestle the stuff into my car and drive anywhere to wrestle it out again. I put it in my driveway. (I gather you can also drop electronics off if you prefer.)

They came when they said they would: between 1 and 3 PM. They loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly-- I mean, they loaded it and took it away, presumably to their address in Fremont.

What they will not do is ship old electronics overseas to poison third-world countries. They recycle the parts, recover the precious metals, and handle the rest according to state and federal guidelines. This makes me happy, because I can dump my junk in an ecologically sound manner -- from the comfort of my own home!

This feels amazingly good, not least because I saved [personal profile] housepet a 30-mile round trip to deliver the dead TV to a rival recycler.

One of the many benefits of my recent temp job (which is over, at least for now) is the perspective it's given me on the task of clearing out my own backlog of unsorted junk. I've just spent months culling 40 years' worth of business files. Sorting my own files seems far more doable now. And in those business files I found thank-you notes, hate mail, cat photos, obsolete media, and a few old friends -- exactly the kinds of things I'm finding (in much higher concentration) in mine. (Well, no -- I don't actually have hate mail in my personal life. Bills, yes.)

I can handle this. I am handling this. Mostly right into the recycling bin. Hail, Discardia!

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