Everyday I walk my dogs, Bagel and Jerry, down Saint Francis Drive. For the past week I’ve seen a television sitting on the sidewalk with a piece of binder paper taped to it that states: FREE. There is a remote sitting on top of the TV, which somehow validates to me that the TV still works. It looks like a 36″ that, I’m guessing, is 20 years old and is as deep as it is wide. Everyday I walk by and everyday the sign gets a little more faded, and the paper a little more brittle from sitting in the sun. I’m guessing that even if you wanted to give it to your kid as his/her first TV set, for a mere $199 you could buy a new flat screen that would take up a fraction of the bedroom space and probably use half the energy. Everyday I think “When is the owner of this TV going to realize nobody wants it, and arrange to have it hauled away.” Do people feel that once a FREE sign is put on their old furniture , they are now relieved of any obligation to dispose of it appropriately?
On the other hand, I live on a street that gets heavy bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the weekends, and I have on occasion put boxes of kids books out, and an occasional piece of furniture that typically does find a new home by night fall. In fact, a few months ago, after a very successful garage sale, I put all unsold items curbside, and almost all if it went away. So where is the line drawn between giving lightly used items away and abandoning your junk?
After deciding this was a good blog topic, I took some pictures of FREE stuff around Rincon Valley just to inspire discussion. Some items, I could honestly see going to a good home, and other items I was embarrassed to photograph for fear somebody might think I was considering taking it home especially the old stained double mattress on Montecito Ave. Yikes !
In closing, my opinion is that the line between recycling your stuff and abandoning your garbage is based on the quality of the item that needs to be discarded from your home, and the duration of how long it sits before accepting the fact that nobody wants your junk. The City of Santa Rosa and Empire Waste Management have a deal where for a reasonable fee you can have a special pick up of a heavy or bulky items that can be hauled away. Large electronics such at TV’s will be picked up for FREE up to 4 times a year. Call 586.1478 to make an appointment. Here are some useful resource information should you find yourself with stuff you want to send to the dump:
Santa Rosa Recycling and Collection: 707.586.1478 (for bulky item pick up)
Sonoma County Waste Management Eco-Desk 707.565.3375 (free toxic waste drop off info)
A complete 2015 recycling guide is in the Real Yellow Pages phone book or you can go to: www.RecycleNow.org
Live chat with Redwood Empire Waste Management at www.Unicycler.com (appears bottom right of screen)
Electronics recycling: www.RecycleNow.org/toxics/electronics.asp