Sometime in the middle of last week, one of the folks at work emailed an announcement to everyone in the building that there was a computer recycling event this Saturday. Since I have been tripping over a dead 21" CRT monitor in my living room for months and I have a couple of dead printers lying around, this seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, nothing in the announcement mentioned that what appeared to be half the population of Champaign would also think it was a good idea and the folks who were going to be accepting the junk would be utterly overwhelmed.
The first hint of trouble came as as I approached the location. I had a street address and it didn't occur to me until I'd blithely driven to Urbana that I didn't actually know what building I was going to. Well, I figured, to get to 10 E St. Mary's Road, I should start by getting onto St. Mary's road and work from there. As I approached the area, I became bogged down in a traffic jam which at first appeared to be due to the fact that the Ringling Bros. circus is at the Assembly Hall. St. Mary's road. I stopped to ask a person directing traffic, who informed me that the non-moving right lane was the line to get into the recycling. So I got into it. And I waited. As the line inched forward, north on Locust all the way to Florida, into the U of I motor pool, and all the way back to within 50 feet of St. Mary's Rd. Three effin' hours in line, plus the time to drive to Urbana and back. Instead of having time to spend outdoors Saturday afternoon, I frantically scrambled to be only 20 minutes late leaving for the housefilk. If I'd just had the faintest idea of how much of my time and happiness I would have to sacrifice for this free service, I could have decided better, but the only time when it actually became clear how much longer the wait would be was like the last 15 minutes of the wait.
I'm glad that I am rid of the junk and that it's in the hands of someone who's at least purportedly going to recycle it rather than just landfilling it. I'm glad that the governments and volunteers who made it happen did it. I hope they can repeat it on a semi-regular basis. But I also hope they can find a better system so that hundreds of people don't have to sit in a queue of cars, or at the very least that they can provide some warning.