New York Daily Photo Analytics

Saturday, August 18, 2007

17 Monitors

I really wanted to try and grab all these monitors and find homes for them, but their time on the street (outside an NYU office) was short - they were being loaded on a truck for recycling. I spoke to one of the truckers and asked about their condition. He was fairly vague and non-specific. My gut feel, though, was that these were being tossed and replaced by flat screen LCD monitors, a common scenario nowadays. After all, what is the likelihood of 17 virtually identical monitors failing at the same time or failing over time and being stored? I have acquired many CRT monitors recently for free including high end graphics models - many excellent quality monitors are being given away or being sold very cheaply (check out craigslist in your area) as people replace them with more compact LCDs. Disposal of electronics in NYC is a huge problem. In my office it took us at least a year to find a way to dispose of our computers, printers etc.. Our first choice was to donate the working items for reuse (many of the items still functioned.) No luck at all - our computers were even rejected by an agency that donates computers to the underprivileged in Africa - our computers were too old for them to accept. When the reuse approach was clearly not viable, we decided to recycle them. We still had difficulty - we tried non-profit organizations and private for-profit companies. The city does have a recycling program - it requires dropping off, has infrequent recycling days and limits individuals to one item at a time - impractical for a business with many items to dispose of. We finally found a wonderful non-profit organization to work with (Per Scholas) that even arranged to pick up. However, we did have to pay per component to get them recycled ...

6 comments:

• Eliane • said...

I love that kind of picture. I had the exact same problem when I replaced my old Mac. It had the same big chuncky screen and every associations, schools that I contacted rejected my offer. I learned that they would not take something that would be older than a year old! So I took it outside on a sunny day and left it on the curb. I came ten minutes later to check and it was gone. Glad someone could get good use of it.
Otherwise, I saw a very interesting use of the monitors when visiting Tekserve, the great apple store in Chelsea. See here.

Lucy said...

So glad you took the trouble to recycle, even with all the obstacles put in your path. That is one huge pile of machines and it would be a shame just to add to the mountains of trash all over the place. Plus I hear there are components within computers that are really toxic, like in cell phones, too. NYC should really do more to help small businesses deal with this type of thing since otherwise it adds to the pollution for everybody...I don't think too many other small business people would go to the trouble you did...

Brian said...

Because it is so difficult, many are disposing of these components any way they can. Private carting services will take them (at a price) and just dump them with garbage.

Trusty said...

my office just replaced 5 of those exact monitors...must be happening more than I thought!

Rick Lee said...

I have two CRT monitors in my office which I can't give away. One is new in the box. They are going in the recycling trash soon.

Chris Tucker said...

That's how I got my last two monitors. Found them on the curb here in Boston.

The one I'm using now, an Apple 21" Studio CRT, was on the curb in the South End, cables all neatly bundled and taped to the monitor and a note, "FREE working monitor" on the front.

I lugged that 77 pound monster about half a mile to the nearest subway stop. I was sore for a week afterwards!

But I regret nothing. It's the best monitor my Macintosh has ever had.

It's a damned shame that there isn't some manner of rebate for recycling this stuff. Maybe that would encourage recycling and discourage just dumping it on the street after dark.