California E-Waste

February 10, 2006 6 By archshrk

A new state law in California will go into effect on February 9, requiring that all consumer electronics be recycled instead of being thrown away. An attempt to reduce the polluting effects of lead, mercury, and copper on environments surrounding landfills and beyond, the law will encourage electronics users to dispose of everything from iPods to microwave ovens at household hazardous waste collection centers. (More info). Here?s the twist: ?We have no plans, nor do we have the resources, to go door-to-door to determine who is throwing away what in their trash,’? says a spokesperson for the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control. ?Most Californians care about their environment. We feel if we tell them what to do, and assist them, they?ll do the right thing.’? Do the right thing, California. Source:

“We have over 500,000 tons of toxic electronics that are being illegally disposed of in landfills in California every year,” said Mark Murphy, from Tech Waste. To learn more about Tech Waste visit their website. Electronic waste contains toxic substances, including lead and other heavy metals the state says could leak into groundwater. “Lead is a neuro-toxin at low levels. When you get it into your system, particularly for kids, it can cause developmental problems, both for your physical and mental abilities,” said Karl Palmer, from CA Toxic Substances Control. Consumers already pay an extra few dollars in recycling fees when they buy a television or computer monitor. This year, environmentalists will push state lawmakers to add a California Refund Value of 5 to 10 cents to alkaline batteries, much like what’s charged with bottles and cans. Californians use 500 million of these a year and safely dispose of less than 1 percent of them. Counties already have hazardous collection sites that’ll soon have to take in the electronic waste. Starting in July, retailers will have to take back cell phones and their rechargeable batteries. But some want to make e-recycling less troublesome. “We’ve got to come up with some easy, logical places for people to take their e-waste routinely, not wait for a monthly or quarterly collection events,” said Michelle Marlowe, a recycler. Source:

As part of its implementation of the Electronic Waste Recycling Act, DTSC has tested certain types of electronic devices to determine which would be hazardous waste when discarded, only video display devices that DTSC “determines are presumed to be,when discarded, a hazardous waste” are potentially covered by the Act. Currently, these devices include:

cathode ray tube (CRT) devices (including televisions and computer monitors);
LCD desktop monitors;
laptop computers with LCD displays;
LCD televisions; and
plasma televisions.