Due to ongoing technological advancement, many of electronic products become obsolete within a very short period of time, creating a large surplus of unwanted electronic products, or “e-waste.” Disposing of e-waste in landfills has the potential to cause severe human and environmental health impacts. To avoid these risks, the Electronic Waste Recycling Act (Senate Bill 50) was signed into law in 2004. SB 50 established and funded a program for consumers to return, recycle, and ensure safe and environmentally sound disposal of covered electronic devices (CEDs).
DTSC has also adopted regulations (Chapter 23 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations) designating e-wastes as universal wastes. Because they pose lower immediate risk to people and the environment when properly managed, universal wastes can be handled and transported under more relaxed rules compared to hazardous wastes. However, e-wastes contain hazardous materials and must be taken to a designated handler or recycler. Find an e-waste handler or recycler in your county, or visit the CalRecycle’s Directory of the companies that collect, reuse and recycle electronic wastes.