Several self-storage companies around the country are beginning to offer electronic-waste, or e-waste, recycling centers on site for the convenience of their patrons. The most recent company to do so is A-American Self Storage, a privately-held self-storage company. A-American has more than 100 locations in five states, but it is going to start the e-waste recycling program with drop off sites at its eight Nevada locations, which are all in the Reno area. A-American is offering the e-waste recycling service in conjunction with Greenworks Environmental LLC. Greenworks is a green designer, builder, and land planning firm.
The public can drop end-of-life electronics off at the self-storage sites, where staff members will inventory them and handle them carefully. Most electronics and electronic components can be recycled there. For example, the e-waste recycling centers will accept computers, televisions, cell phones, cables, etc. Hard drives, however, are destroyed rather than recycled, for customer security reasons. A-American does not want to be responsible if a recycled hard drive falls into the wrong hands and provides someone unscrupulous with information that he or she should not have. There is no charge to drop off e-waste. All eight facilities are open seven days a week, and all recycling is done in an environmentally responsible way, so that no hazardous substances, such as mercury or lead, are leached into the ground or the groundwater.
Not all self-storage e-waste recycling programs offer recycling on-site, as A-American does. Dollar Self Storage in Corona, California, for example, has a recycling program too, but Dollar puts the electronics equipment in boxes, which are then taken by truck to a recycling plant in Riverside, California.
It is extremely helpful for self-storage businesses in California to offer e-waste recycling, because in California the garbage and recycling laws have just changed. It is now illegal in California to throw electronic equipment away in the garbage. Violators can be fined up to $2,500 by the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
In seven months, Dollar has collected 17 tons of e-waste. It has earned more than $5,000 from recycling plants in reimbursement for collecting and transporting the electronics. The money raised by Dollar through the e-waste program is channeled to the Corona Public Library Fund to use in purchasing new computers.