Thoughtful Disposal

Moore’s Law states that “the number of transistors and resistors on a microchip doubles every 18 months.” It’s technobabble to most of us, but its effect is real enough: our gizmos go obsolete every one and one-half years.

With the rise in popularity of gadgets like iPods and high-definition televisions, even the most frugal Island residents may find a growing cache of old technology collecting dust in the basement.

These products cannot be tossed casually into the bin along with the used Kleenex and broken dishes: electronics contain volatile chemicals, poisons, caustic acids and valuable recyclables such as copper wires and bits of gold that simply don’t belong in the regular trash. The threat posed by the pollutants contained within these products, not to mention the lost opportunities to reuse and recycle their components, calls for more thoughtful disposal.

Once our gadgets enter senescence, they need to be dealt with carefully and with respect. Unfortunately, few heed this, and disposal of said items has become a costly, cumbersome problem.

Fortunately, Community Services is hosting its fifth Electronics Disposal Day on Saturday. The small disposal fee, which varies by product, is tax deductible. The items are collected and safely disposed of, and Community Services receives some of the proceeds.

Those compelled to try and keep up in an age of an rapid technological change should remember that for every shiny new doo-dad that hits the market, there will eventually come an even shinier one. And no one is immune to the eventuality of innovation’s environmental costs.