Electronic waste is composed of the chemicals and metals used to make electronic devices like computers, cell phones, and handheld videogame systems. Everything from inkjet printer cartridges to your mp3 player contains it, and getting rid of it safely, in an environmentally-friendly way, has become an increasingly important issue as the number of gadgets we use to make life easier continues to increase. Virtually every electric appliance bears a component of e-waste and must be carefully and properly disposed of or recycled, in accordance with both federal and state laws.
While federal regulations apply to some older types of products, California has passed landmark legislation to regulate the disposal of many other types of e-waste. The Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 specifically targets video display devices – televisions, computer monitors, cell phones, portable DVD players – which employ LCD, CRT, or plasma screens measuring four or more inches in size diagonally. The act also set limits on the types and amounts of hazardous materials which can be used in the manufacture of such devices.
In 2005, a recycling fee was imposed on the purchase of many electronic goods. In part, this fee is used to pay for the cost of recycling and processing e-waste material. Cell phones and rechargeable batteries have also recently had guidelines for put into place for their disposal.
In order to properly dispose of electronic goods, an individual must visit a recycling location. ABS Internet works with BCS Recycling Specialists to dispose of our extraneous electronics. In addition to recycling e-waste on a large scale for businesses and organizations, BCS also accepts e-waste directly from individual consumers. BCS even offers a recycling fundraising program and is a “landfill-free” company, recycling or repurposing every last component of the devices it receives so that nothing goes into a landfill. More information can be found at their website: www.scrapdr.com.
As the population of device users increases, and the length of time before device obsolescence decreases, we will more clearly see a need to re-use components and resources involved in the manufacture of electronic devices and to further reduce their environmental impact. California is often at the forefront of much of our nation’s legislation and continues to set high standards to meet the ever-changing needs of both planet and population.