California: Give Us Your E-waste

Posted on Mar 7 2012 - 11:35am by Tim Eyre

Electronic waste, or e-waste as most of us call it, is a threat to human and environmental health when not disposed of properly, but I’m happy to announce that Extra Space Storage is helping residents of California do the right thing by providing a free and convenient way to recycle their unwanted electronic items. Starting on March 9, residents of California can leave their e-waste at any of 48 participating Extra Space locations!

Once you leave your e-waste at a participating Extra Space location, GREENspot DROPoff, the largest e-waste collector in the state, will handle the important work of making sure the waste is recycled properly. Plus, if you take advantage of the e-waste recycling program at Extra Space, the community will benefit as well. Extra Space and GREENspot will donate one dollar to schools and charitable organizations for each CRT monitor, television, computer, flat screen and laptop dropped off at any participating Extra Space location.

Accepted e-waste items to drop off at participating Extra Space locations in California:

• Televisions
• Computer monitors
• PC boards
• Computers
• Laptops
• Computer mice
• Fax machines
• Printers
• DVD players
• VCR/Beta
• Cables and cords
• Stereo components
• Hard drives
• Tape and zip drives
• Radios
• Loose PCBAs (printed circuit board assemblies)
• Optical drives
• Oscilloscopes

Please note that cell phones and ink cartridges are not accepted. To recycle those items, visit Coastal Recycling Centers.

Now that you know where to drop off your e-waste, let’s talk about why it’s so important dispose of unwanted electronics responsibly. California defines e-waste as any unwanted electronic device or Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). According to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, e-waste contains hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury, and has the potential to bring about severe human and environmental health impacts when not recycled responsibly. Yet, e-waste has been designated as a universal waste, meaning that it poses a lower immediate risk to people and the environment when properly managed.

What’s all the fuss about, then? If e-waste is left in dumps or landfills where it’s exposed to the elements, the chemicals and heavy metals inside can leach into groundwater. Ingesting such a mess can cause severe central nervous system damage. In addition, disposing of metal components can lead to unnecessary mining. According to the EPA, recycling of electronic materials helps reduce greenhouse emissions and pollution, and saves resources since fewer raw materials are extracted from the earth.

We believe it’s important to make sure e-waste is recycled responsibly. Sadly, some “recyclers” ship e-waste to developing countries, creating serious health problems for the workers and people living near the e-dumps. While the EPA doesn’t currently have reliable data on the amount of e-waste that’s exported, the “60 Minutes” report “The Electronic Wasteland” shows the toll the practice takes on humans.

At Extra Space, we’re proud to be working with a responsible recycler like GREENspot to help residents of California conveniently dispose of their e-waste for free. We hope to see you and your unwanted electronic items soon.

Tim Eyre