A question about proper disposal of unwanted items with an unhelpful answer

On an internal mailing list about home maintenance and ownership, somebody asked:

I have a handful of items that I need to get rid of and probably should not toss into the regular garbage. Any thoughts?

  • Older TV — 32″
  • Propane tanks (full)
  • Lighter fluid
  • Carpet glue adhesive
  • Lawn fertilizer

The best reply was an unhelpful one.

You've pretty much got all the components you need to build a bomb. Why dispose of them?

Comments (13)
  1. D. G. says:

    What I find impressive is that Microsoft has a human resources department that is okay with someone making a joke like that!

  2. Boris says:

    My psychic powers reveal that Raymond redirected the person to a search engine of his choice.

  3. This being in an internal mailing list, this is to be expected: you got the chance, you got the joke :-) .

    @D.G.: this was a joke in a internal medium. A joke so obvious that anybody would understand it. So I would find impressive if Microsoft's (or any other decent company) wouldn't be Ok with it.

  4. steven says:

    To be honest, he did as for *any* thoughts :)

  5. JM says:

    And if he does build a bomb with it, then, to dispose of it *properly*, he needs to call a bomb disposal unit.

    On the plus side, that's still not the regular garbage.

  6. new Person says:

    Your headline would make a lot more sense with a comma in it ;)

  7. SMS says:


    How do people have such a fear that innocuous joke is taken seriously? I think a hyperactive media out to sell "news" is responsible. Nothing in media sells better than fear, tragedy and scandals.

  8. cheong00 says:

    This is the best reply? Noone refer him to any of the chemical waste disposal services?

  9. Best as in most interesting, rather than best as in most helpful perhaps?

  10. Neil says:

    Would the bomb disposal unit be happy to dispose of bomb-making components too?

    Also, since when is 32" an older TV?

  11. ender says:

    Also, since when is 32" an older TV?

    I replaced my 32" CRT a few months ago. It was 10 years old. Doesn't that count as old(er)?

  12. Anonymous Coward says:

    Can't you just sell the stuff?

    You'd be amazed at what you can get for old trash if you just auction it.

  13. Dave says:

    >To be honest, he did as for *any* thoughts :)

    And it's a perfectly reasonable response.  If you ensure complete combustion/a sufficiently large explosion, the TV parts will be destroyed or dispersed over a sufficiently large area that they're effectively gone.  Everything on the list can thus be disposed of in one go.

    (I once disposed of a dead chicken using a propane canister.  We never found any trace of either the canister or the chicken.  Living on a farm out in the wilderness helps here).

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