100% wireless, except for all these wires.
March 23, 2010 8:59 AM   Subscribe

What should I do with all the old cable and power cords I have? Donate? Arts and crafts? Recycle?

I'm moving and I have a gym bag full of obsolete cords, wires and adapters. I hate just dropping all that plastic and metal in the trash. Any suggestions?
posted by es_de_bah to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You might check out Freecycle, this is one of the things that it's great at.
posted by pupdog at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

You might be able to find computer recycling in your area. I'd suggest you call a computer repair place and ask if they know of something like this nearby.
posted by belau at 9:08 AM on March 23, 2010

Best answer: Where do you live? Check to see if you have a Free Geek affiliate in your area. Otherwise, I'd donate them to goodwill or a similar charity, if they are still functional and for something useful (i.e. not a random power cord that only fits one model of 4-track recorder from 1992 or something). Don't just throw them away.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:41 AM on March 23, 2010

As pupdog says, freecycle is a good way to do it, but when I just want those kinds of things OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW I donate them to the local charity thrift store. Plenty of people go there just to look for such things.
posted by The Deej at 9:48 AM on March 23, 2010

not a random power cord that only fits one model of 4-track recorder from 1992

Actually, that might be the most desirable item. Fostex 4-track cassette recorders still sell, so...

The only cords I can think of that are really completely beyond hope nowadays are parallel printer cables. There are just so many out there, and they are just so completely useless.. That and some proprietary IT stuff, because there aren't very many enthusiasts for circa 1998 IT gear..

Freecycle, Craigslist, Goodwill.. If you are on a busy street just leave them in a box at your front door.
posted by Chuckles at 9:59 AM on March 23, 2010

Best answer: If you're near a college you could contact their Electrical Engineering department and offer the power supplies to the shop -- old wall warts are awesome for DIY projects.
posted by range at 10:17 AM on March 23, 2010

I'm interested in answers to this too... I have boxes and boxes and boxes of VGA/DVI/standard PC power cords. Have no idea what to do with them.
posted by jmnugent at 11:09 AM on March 23, 2010

Google your municipality. Most will have a webpage with recycling info and what to do with electronics. In my town you can drop off old electronics for recycling or proper disposal on Tuesdays or Thursdays when you should be at work to a recycling center. There is great variance between towns and counties though.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:54 AM on March 23, 2010

Best answer: Take them to your nearest Staples. They'll have an electronics recycling bin in the back somewhere.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:19 PM on March 23, 2010

I remember being about 10 when, after a big ice storm, the power company had repaired a downed power line (phone line? I was 10.) and coiled up the broken halves of the old cable by the side of the road for clean-up. My dad, being a sweetheart about my mom's serious crafty streak, brought her home a ~8-foot length of this stuff, a 1-inch wide bundle of glorious multicolored single-strand wires wrapped in a thick black jacket. Over the years, my brother and I (and the cub scouts and they church youth group) made sculptures, made friendship bracelets, wove awesome baskets, did circuits with batteries and light-bulbs, and I can't even remember 10% of it. My general impression is that it was just awesome to have this supply of wire. So I say, if you have or host kids, kill a couple of cables (not power cords, but multi-pin communications cables) and make a crafts stash - cut the ends off and strip the bundle-sheath, and they will find something fantastic to do with the multi-color strands.
posted by aimedwander at 1:20 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm telling you. You'll need it as soon as you get rid of it.
posted by cmoj at 2:21 PM on March 23, 2010

Response by poster: As a result of these answers, Ill try to donate what I can to schools and the recycle the rest. I do want to throw this out there:

Don't take shit like this to goodwill or the Salvation Army etc. I've worked at donation centers. They're not set up to deal with it properly and will most likely junk and possibly have to pay for disposing of bulk metal. A lot of my local Salvos have stopped taking consumer electronics of any type for this reason, which sucks for them and sucks for people looking for cheap tape-decks and toasters.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:23 PM on March 25, 2010

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