Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Community group helps old electronics go to hard-drive heaven

You don’t need a bike to go e-cycling. What you need instead is the pedal power to haul unwanted electronic junk out of the basement and down to the Asbury Elementary School parking lot on Nov. 6.

That’s when Action Recycling will be on hand to take computer towers, batteries, TVs, stereos, mice (the inorganic kind), laptops, printers, cell phones, keyboards and monitors off your hands and out of your life.

Action is an EPA-sanctioned recycling outfit that knows electronic trash from treasure. Its technicians strip electronic items down to what’s recyclable and what’s not, then see that the pieces go where they belong. They can even scrape your computer’s hard drive to a safe, data-less magnetic strip before sending it off to hard-drive heaven. And they’ll mail you the papers to prove that the hard drive was “degaussed” for only $8 per hard drive. Otherwise, disposing of electronic junk, including hard drives you don’t want cleaned, will cost a donation of at least $10 or more per household.

The beneficiary of this electronic clean-up is University Neighbors, a registered neighborhood association that ran an identical e-cycling event last year. That event raised about $500, which helped pay for the group’s annual ice cream social in August.

“It’s as much a community service as it is outreach for us,” says former president Liz Ullman. “It keeps electronics out of the landfill and from being scattered in the alleys. It also brings neighbors together. They meet and hang out. It’s great.”

This year’s e-cycling event will be from 9 a.m.–noon, rain or shine, at Asbury School, which is one block north of Evans Avenue between Marion and Lafayette streets. Bring all the electronic junk you want, but not fluorescent bulbs or devices containing mercury or Freon. For more information, visit

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