How much is a 26-year-old broken down garbage disposal worth in Grand Junction? The answer might surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

My relaxing weekend was interrupted by something fierce with a busted garbage disposal and a minor flood under my sink. After removing the old-and-busted disposal, I thought it would fun to see how much I could get for it at the local recycling center.

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You don't know the meaning of fun until you've swapped out a garbage disposal. The work itself isn't that bad. More than anything, the cleanup is a real drag. In addition, there's nothing fun about coughing up $110 for a new disposal. The price has really gone up.

How bad was it?

My guess is the disposer was leaking for some time before I noticed it. By the time it was noticed, it was too late. The cabinet under the sink had taken considerable water damage.

What's with the date on the disposer?

That's a trait I inherited from my dad. He got it from his dad. It's a genetic thing with the Jordans. My dad and grandpa used to write the date down every time they replaced something - light bulbs, batteries, garbage disposals, etc.

Don't throw it away. Recycle it.

I was seriously bummed out about having to get rid of the thing. It goes without saying the private refuse service I use wouldn't accept it in my trash can. I tried to dispose of some 2X4 remnants a few months ago, and they wouldn't take them. They left a note on my trash cash saying, "We do not accept construction materials."

It seems the sensible choice was to recycle. I stopped by Western Metals Recycling at 645 4th Avenue in Grand Junction. To be completely upfront, it was kind of embarrassing. Here I was, pulling into the recycle yard with precisely one item to recycle. As it turns out, they were totally cool with just one item. They had me drive over the scale, take the disposer to the drop-off point, and then come in and get paid.

How much was it worth?

I was expecting to get 15 to 20 cents at best. As a matter of fact, I wasn't wanting to get paid. I only weighed it because I thought it would be fun to see how much it would be worth.

How much would you guess? Thirty cents? Maybe 50?

Pleasant surprise.

The garbage disposal ended up bringing in an impressive four dollars. That's right, four bucks. That's exponentially more than I would have ever expected.

Waylon Jordan

This was a great experience.

In the end, this was well worth the effort. The old disposer gets recycled rather than cluttering the landfill, and I make a few bucks. The entire experiment took less than five minutes. To top it off, the clerk who assisted me at the scales was incredibly nice. It really made my day.

The moral of the story - recycle. Taking in the four bucks took some of the stings out of the $110 paid for the new unit. Every little bit helps.

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