This kid came around to the house the other day and rang the bell. He was canvassing the neighborhood for a scrap metal recycling project of some kind and asked for donations of objects and wares. The ultimate purpose was kind of vague. I’m not sure what organization he represented—maybe the Boy Scouts? However, I was a bit puzzled at the request at first. Who has any scrap metal lying around the house anyway and what does this kid want with it? Surely it couldn’t be sold for any meaningful money. Just pocket change.

I was thinking way too literally perhaps. I was envisioning a bunch of old metal junk like appliances or hardware that people could reuse in construction or even art works. I had thoughts of rusty bicycles, old tin cans, mixers and blenders, and garage castoffs. Broken toasters (don’t we all have at least one?), yard tools, and came to mind. This particular miscellany of metal was probably far off the track. Now that I have spent a moment more on the topic, he probably wanted recyclable electronics—anything from shavers and cell phones to laptops and hard drives–no doubt the basis of my husband’s old tech (and there is lots of it collecting dust).

You could build an inflammable pyre with these old devices, a monument to the dusty past. You could put some in a time capsule for posterity. Maybe a sculpture made of computer mice would amuse your kids. Use your imagination! It could be a therapeutic family project and moral lesson about waste.

Technology goes out of style mighty fast these days making the new obsolete in a matter of months some times. It is built into the industry for profit—the almighty dollar is king—and the sheep follow. You can recall how people line up for days to get the latest iPhone or iPad—even when the dated models work just fine. Not everything can be resold or turned in, creating a vast pile of junk waiting to be discarded. Most of us have a drawer in the kitchen somewhere full of old stuff we have forgotten existed. You would be surprised at how much goes into that one little space. So if I can recycle my husband’s rejects, so much the better. Less waste for the landfill. I don’t know how they use it—maybe just the parts—but who cares. It is always good to recycle anything in principle I suppose. I was surprised at all the metals that can be recycled and their prices on scrapsales.co.uk.

A kid that come around next time will get a real find at our house—hidden treasure of all sorts. If he doesn’t want everything, I can toss the rest in the trash. At least it will be a reduction in quantity for eventual burial. The tech age brings with it a certain disregard for the longevity of things and this certainly has been an eye opener—hence the blog. I think we could all do some soul searching and dig around the house and garage.