Going to the Dumpster? Try recycling instead

Posted Sept. 18, 2009, at 10:53 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:28 a.m.

Last week they were recycling TVs and old computers in Bangor. Although I have never gone to one of these events, I love the concept.

The fact I have never gone to one is the gist of this week’s article. I hate to get rid of stuff. My wife will tell you. My employees will tell you. I just hate to dispatch stuff to the Dumpster.

You never know when you will need that fratistat from 1962. They don’t make them anymore, you know.

I have been blessed (or cursed) with the use of a warehouse for most of my adult life. A warehouse is a great place to keep stuff. It is especially handy for tools and hardware.

My friend Curt, who is an even bigger pack rat than me, always scraps out any metal that I grudgingly part with. We have, however, a symbiotic relationship in that he always brings me stuff that other people give him that I might want to the chagrin of my employees.

My wife asks me what happens if I suddenly meet my demise, who will clean up all this stuff. My answer: Curt will scrap it out.

The other place I like to go to is the transfer station — our modern-day dump. Some transfer stations let you pick up stuff that other people are throwing away.

Does it get any better than that?

Well, yes it does. There is a section of free stuff in Uncle Henrys (which you can check out online at www.unclehenrys.com). There also is www.craigslist.com.

Ignore all the negative press about the personal ads and check out the search feature. You can type in accordion or your hometown and find out what deals are in your town or where that vintage accordion might be in Maine or anywhere else in the free world. (Please do not search for banjos — that’s my job and I check at least once a day.)

Another decent online scrounging place is www.freecycle.org. This allows people to avoid throwing things away. I have dispatched a lot of old computer stuff to another life by using this forum.

Another place where one occasionally might swallow one’s pride is the yard sale leftovers that are perched for free by the side of the road every weekend. Sometimes you just have to stop, move fast (you recall they keep publishing my damned photo in this paper every week!) and understand that you are saving the environment.

Once you have this reputation, friends and neighbors and even people you don’t know offer you all kinds of junk. This is where I have developed the willpower and taste that I hope my wife and employees appreciate. I sometimes say no — more than I used to.

All kidding aside, we do need to be a little more cognizant of the stuff that we purchase and how long it will be in our possession. When it comes time to separate from what was once our prized trophy, let’s make sure that it goes to its highest use, not necessarily just in the trash. Maybe just not in my warehouse, except if it’s an Orpheum Super Special Banjo.

Questions for Tom Gocze should be mailed to The Home Page, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329. A library of reference material and a home-project blog are at www.bangordailynews.com/thehomepage.html.

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