Electronic waste (E-waste) is the most rapidly growing segment of the municipal waste stream. E-waste is a general category of electronic products including broken or obsolete televisions, computer monitors, central processing units (CPU), cordless and cell phones, cash registers, videocassette recorders, cell phones, copiers and printers, stereos and speakers, microwaves, x-ray machines, and some scientific equipment. These products may contain toxic materials such as lead, barium, mercury, and cadmium that require proper management as well as valuable resources that should be recovered.
Why E-Waste Is a Problem
Though the problem of e-waste seems to have emerged only recently, it has been building since the first computer or electronic product was manufactured.
The following are just a few facts about the severity and extent of this problem. More complete information can be found on the California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) website.
Here are the facts:
- Consumer electronics comprises 2 to 5 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream.
- The consumer electronics waste stream is growing three times faster than the solid waste stream.
- An estimated 500 million computers will become obsolete in the U.S. by 2007.
- More than 10,000 computers and televisions A DAY become obsolete and are put aside in California.
- Three-quarters of all of the computers sold in the U.S. remain stockpiled in a garage, closet or storage space.
- E-waste presents different challenges than household hazardous waste or solid waste recycling because of its weight, volume, storage needs, and costs.
- E-waste poses a long-term threat to public health and the environment because it is the largest source of heavy metals and organic pollutants in the solid waste stream.
Athens Services conducts four e-waste collections per year as follows:
January – A local drop off event (date/site to be announced)
May – concurrent with the curbside Bulky Waste collection (next event is on May 7, 2016)
September – concurrent with the curbside Bulky Waste collection (date to be announced)
November – concurrent with the annual Shredding event (date to be announced)
Gaffey Street S.A.F.E. Collection Center
E-waste can be taken to the Gaffey Street S.A.F.E. Collection Center, which is open to all Los Angeles County residents:
1400 N. Gaffey Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
Hours: Sat & Sun - 9:00am - 3:00pm
Residents are limited to a total of SIX pieces of the following items per visit to a S.A.F.E. Center
- computers, monitors, printers, network equipment, cables, telephones, televisions, microwaves, video games, cell phones, radios, stereos, VCRs, and electronic toys.
It is against the law to transport more than 15 gallons or 125 pounds of hazardous waste to collection sites. Please pack your waste properly to prevent tipping or spilling or the waste during transportation.