Each year in California hundreds of thousands of computers, monitors, copiers, fax machines, printers, televisions, and other electronic items become “obsolete” in the eyes of consumers. Rapid advances in technology and an expanding demand for new features accelerate the generation of “old” electronic equipment (“e-waste”). The result is a growing challenge for businesses, residents, and local governments as they search for ways to reuse, recycle, or properly dispose of this equipment.
To meet this challenge, California enacted the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, which established the Covered Electronic Waste (CEW) Recycling Program to offset the cost of compliantly handling certain unwanted electronic devices. The Act and the CEW program have fostered a robust collection and processing infrastructure in the state, resulting in over two point three billion pounds of unwanted TVs and monitors recovered and recycled. However, the electronic waste stream is becoming more complex and is presenting challenges to the recycling industry and policymakers alike. For this reason, CalRecycle embarked on a long-term initiative to explore the future possibilities of electronic waste management in California. The culmination of the Future of Electronic Waste Management in California project is a report with a set of recommendations that CalRecycle adopted at its 2018 May public meeting.
Many components of electronic equipment–including metals, plastic, and glass–can be recycled, while others may present environmental hazards if not managed correctly. This site provides information and resources on how to properly manage your electronic products.