Re-Homing Those Bits and Pieces

Update: This printer has been claimed. // Give: My 6 year old Epson Workforce 545 printer/scanner has recently started printing very blurry copies. The scanner still works perfectly. Before I turn this machine in for recycling, I am checking to see if anyone has any interest in having it – maybe someone out there knows how to fix the printing problem or perhaps just needs a scanner. PPU in Mueller.

Jeanne Traeger’s Buy Nothing post. Reprinted with permission.

I love that Jeanne thought to ask if anyone needed a scanner before recycling her machine! RETHINK! Printers, particularly all-in-ones, have been common items on Bulk Collection days. There’s no need for that if there are features that still work on all-in-ones someone would be grateful to have.

A printer and speakers set out as part of a past bulk collection day.

Someone else may be able to fix the aspect of your machine that isn’t working. Or you can try yourself before moving the piece on. If the manufacturer of your item does not offer replacement parts, repair, or manuals to help you review all the possibilities, check out iFixit for manuals, instructions and parts to help you repair many items.

Your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook or your local Marketplace group on Facebook are great ways to offer up items that still have some use left in them that others may appreciate. You don’t even have to “monitor” the post if you don’t want by asking for stories, doing a random drawing, etc. If you post an address and the window of time you’ll leave an item out, most likely someone will pick it up. You can then edit the post to remove the address but leave the post up for posterity in Buy Nothing. This works great for so many things, it’s been sad to see all the usable items put to the curb for trash during COVID. A little bit of this part matching happens on Nextdoor, there’s a For Sale & Free section on the left toolbar, along with the regular “ISO” posts. This kind of matching up doesn’t appear to occur to the extent that it does on Facebook but if you want to stay off social media this is another option.

Electronics that no longer work and cannot be repaired, may be recycled at Goodwill, Staples , Best Buy or during COVID (and the rest of the year) and at the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center when it’s open or by appointment during COVID. Despite how you may feel about Goodwill, they are certified by the State of Texas as an authorized collector of electronic waste and are one of the largest recyclers in Central Texas. That volume means efficiency and responsibility.

The items below are parts of something bigger of which the rest broke. All but one of these items were claimed by someone.

  1. The Steeping Mug broke to this steeper (then the steeper broke), but my husband still wanted a ceramic steeper and a neighbor gave us theirs. They didn’t like their steeper and preferred metal, but kept the teapot the steeper had come with.
  2. We’ve been through several stick/hand blenders over the years. The blade attachment would break or the motor end would. Then we’d click in one of the other halves from another broken one. On our fourth stick blender in 16 years we decided to move on with a Vitamix. No one responded to this post so after several months I recycled our last motor/handle.
  3. Someone donated this flip top lid with a bunch of other items for the Austin Dish Lending Library. They didn’t need it so I posted it. It only got a hit after I posted a picture of the lid on the mason jar instead of just by itself, so sometimes framing the photo in totality will help move an item along.
  4. Our dishwasher broke and it seemed a waste to recycle the basket. A lovely lady picked this up to organize her paint brushes.
  5. People keep Pyrex and baking dishes in the hopes they’ll find new bottoms, or lids, or more to their set. I’ve matched up several bases and lids with new homes. Pyrex and Anchor websites do sell replacement lids but there’s a good chance a neighbor maybe able to help you out so check first.
  6. Our Kinetic sand went to compost heaven after too much dog hair incorporation. While we seem to have misplaced or recycled the rest of the kit’s tools, this was the lone survivor. The rake went to a new home with Kinetic sand to be enjoyed again.
  7. I took the legs off of an ottoman to use as a platform for my dogs to look out the window. The legs made the ottoman too high, however at this point the dogs made the ottoman part not usable ever again for humans so I didn’t need the legs. Someone snapped these up right away. Keep all parts and hardware together.
  8. This last one is a tv stand my neighbor was going to put out at bulk collection. I posted to see if anyone wanted it and someone did! So just try!

Buy Nothing has really become a great way to match up things that may not make it to the thrift store/second hand store sales floor. I love this aspect of it, but I don’t want to miss reminding you of the local economy and helping your neighbors aspect. Regarding items bound for the secondhand store, not all shoppers are going to buy with repair or being creative in mind, it’s harder or impossible to move that type of merchandise. This way you may luck out and find someone in your neighborhood who can complete an item for you if something is discontinued or hard to find.

Let’s all be a little more open-minded, think a little more outside the box, and keep a little bit more out of the recycler and landfill.

Be safe, be a little more green!

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