Bringing the Pi to home: adventures in recycling

It was a candy store, and I was 7.

Or rather, it was a recycled electronics store, and I was a geeked out 30 something. 

Up until now, to use my Pi I have had to visit the ModLab in Ottawa, where they have monitors, keyboards, etc. that I can plug into my Pi.  However, I want to be able to use my Pi more often than once a week, and want to be able to do it at home.  However, I didn’t want to spend much, I didn’t want to contribute to producing more electronic goods, and my needs are pretty simple so old, slow and ugly is fine with me.

So I called around to the various electronics recycling depots in Ottawa to ask if I could come get/purchase some old, discarded electronics, and the near universal answer was “no”.  No?  It baffled the mind.  Instead of taking a, for example, working monitor that someone thinks is too small or has a small mark on it or otherwise just wants to get rid of it and enabling someone like me to reuse it, they told me it must be recycled (think:  stripped, parts removed, maybe some discarded and some actually recycled) and they could not allow anyone to take or even purchase the electronics that they had received for recycling.  One place even told me it was a privacy issue, as if somehow a monitor or a keyboard was going to reveal someone’s secrets.

However, thankfully I found one (!!!) in Ottawa:  Twenty-Twenty Electronics Recycling, located in Bells Corners.

A wired mouse for $3?  A monitor for $10?  Yes indeed, I will do that!  After the basics were obtained (monitor, keyboard, mouse) I just kept shopping, and a couple extra things later (can you upsell at a used/recycled electronics store?  Because I just got upsold) I was walking out with a USB hub, a 12v battery (???), speakers, an adjustable voltage power supply, a USB connected game controller….

Final bill?  $27.


Still need some other things to play with:  breadboard and cables, LEDs, and an HDMI to DVI cable to connect the Pi to the monitor.  But I got the basics and didn’t contribute to the massive pile of e-waste in the world.  For those that are considering getting rid of their electronics in the Ottawa region, consider Twenty-Twenty.   Your trash may become my treasure.


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