I use a lot of technology and end up having a lot of unused or broken electronics and I have to figure out what to do with them. The 44th Ward is having a electronics recycling pickup day on September 11, 2010. This is what the alderman had to say about it in an e-mail blast:
On Saturday, September 11, our office, in conjunction with PC Rebuilders and Recyclers, will be conducting an electronic recycling pickup day. Anytime before 8am, residents can place electronic equipment in front of their homes to be picked up and taken to a recycling facility. Items to be collected include computers and computer equipment, TVs, DVD Players, VCRs, MP3 players, video equipment, and mobile phones. Additionally, residents can drop off electronic recyclables on this date between the hours of 8am and noon at the 44th Ward Streets and Sanitation office (1501 W. School St.).
I go to school at Northwestern University who also has an e-waste recycling program for students. The city also has a drop-off facility at 1150 N. North Branch Street. But, if you have functioning computers, I think the best place to donate them would be FreeGeek Chicago, a “not-for-profit community organization that recycles used computers and parts to provide functional computers, education, internet access and job skills training to those who want them.”
While it’s probably better to recycle computers than to send them to the landfill, I just saw a photo essay in the New York Times Magazine that showed the reality of what happens to e-waste at one site in Ghana.