California eRecycling Program
California has implemented the nation’s first eRecycling program to offset the costs of collecting and recycling certain electronic products at the end of their useful lives. Retailers are obligated to meet the following requirements:
The State of California encourages retailers to provide consumers guidance on how and where to recycle their unwanted electronic products by using information available through the states website.
What Products are Covered by the Fee?
Covered electronic wastes are video display devices with a screen size larger than 4 inches. They include:
Covered Electronic Devices (CEDs)
A “covered electronic device” (CED) is an electronic device that is covered by the Electronic Waste Recycling Act. The purchaser of a CED pays a fee at the time of purchase, which is used to pay collectors and recyclers of CEDs that are no longer wanted. The law defines a CED as a “a video display device containing a screen greater than 4 inches, measured diagonally, that is identified in the regulations adopted by” DTSC. Any video display device with a screen greater than four inches in size that fits into one of the following categories is a CED:
DTSC’s regulations define “electronic device” very broadly as “any electronic device that is identified as hazardous waste.” Some kinds of electronic devices are “covered electronic devices” (see the following section), but many more are not. Below are examples of some common electronic devices; this is by no means a complete list.
Alianza specializes in the environmentally safe and socially responsible dismantling of electronic waste as defined by the State of California eRecycling Program. All material sent to Alianza is nearly 100% recycled into 3 main commodities: metals, plastic and glass. Maximum commodity return, NO electronics are placed in landfills and nothing is illegally exported to other nations.
Alianza tracks all e-waste entering its facilities through a unique bar code tracking system capable of locating e-waste at all stages from receiving reports, to reconciliation reports, to downstream vendors. This assures that all e-waste received by Alianza is 100% recycled and traceable. This “point to point” tracking method ensures that e-waste does not end up in the hands of other companies, local landfills, and is not illegally exported to other nations. Certificates of Destruction are issued on all e-waste recycled Alianza for recycling, thus creating a level of comfort for clients knowing that their e-waste is being disposed of lawfully and ethically. Video Verification of e-waste destruction is yet another service that Alianza offers its clients, providing additional assurance that their confidential or proprietary information will be 100% destroyed.
According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, electronic discards, or e-waste, is one of the fastest growing segments of our nation’s waste stream. In addition, some researchers estimate that nearly 75 percent of old electronics are in storage, in part because of the uncertainty of how to properly dispose of these items.
As technology quickly evolves and new products are outdated almost as soon as they are available for purchase, the need for proper and safe disposal of e-waste is apparent. If products are still in working order or need minor repairs, they should be donated to a school, library, charity or church. If they are broken and need to be disposed of, there are several disposal options in San Diego County – do not place e-waste with your household trash.
Certain materials, particularly metals, in electronic devices can be salvaged and recycled, and proper handling of e-waste ensures that no harmful materials such as lead will contaminate our landfills or water supply.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board has launched an effort to create a “Zero Waste California.” The campaign asks all Californians to engage in activities to create more sustainable homes, offices and communities, by utilizing products that can be reused, recycled or repaired. If we all work together on this effort, we can significantly reduce the waste that goes into our landfills.
Not Designed For Recycling
Most electronic products are not designed with the end-of-life stage of the product in mind. Designers focus on the manufacturing of the productof course, but they generally ignore the realities of how the product will be handled when it’s discarded. They are clearly not thinking about how the products could be recycled.
There are two ways that products are not designed for recycling:
Hard to Recycle Materials
The materials used in electronics are the biggest challenge for recycling. While manufacturers will tell us that their products are “completely” recyclable, the toxic materials in these products actually make it impossible to recycle them back into electronic products.
Here are some of the challenges these materials pose:
Hard to Take Apart
Recyclers typically do some amount of product disassembly as the first step in the recycling process, at a minimum to remove the toxic components (mercury-containing parts, batteries, circuit boards, toner). But many products are not designed to be easily disassembled, using glue instead of fasteners, using, a whole range of screw sizes in one product (making the recycler use many different screwdrivers to remove them), making it hard to find fasteners, etc.
Case Study: LCD TVs Are Not Designed For Recycling