It is imperative for anyone recycling computers, monitors etc. to find the most scrupulous recyclers in their area. Why? Because dumped computers that were supposedly recycled are turning up in our streams, baylands, landfills and also in other countries as smoldering, burning, toxic waste emitting eco-disasters.
There are several recyclers of computer parts in California. It is very important to look for a Recycling company that manages the process from end to end, so that your computer devices don’t end up burned, trashed, shipped to another country or only partially recycled. Several companies that recycle outsource the “tear down” and recover portions of this job to the lowest bidder, which means that the valuable materials are extracted in the most expedient manner – burning and acid baths are common. This “smash and burn” method endangers the people doing the work [exposure to chemicals, dust, fumes, hazardous extraction methods, lack of stringent safety techniques etc.] and nearly guarantees a less than eco-friendly result.
Several recyclers have sought to differentiate themselves by signing the “Electronics Recycler’s Pledge of True Stewardship“. While this document is only a page long, it outlines the most important concepts quite clearly: do not allow hazardous e-waste to go to landfill, use best practices, take responsibility for the entire process
There is a local group in San Francisco, that is amazingly clear and committed and happy to explain their actions and goals. Located in two stores, one in the SF Financial District, the other in Santa Clara, Green Citizen serves the Bay Area. Why are they so passionate? From Green Citizen, “Every year, an estimated 400 million units of obsolete electronics are scrapped. By 2010, three billion units will be in need of responsible recycling.” Call them at 877-918-8900 they are open 7 days a week.
Mon-Sat 10 AM – 6 PM
Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM
The NY Times ran an article in their Personal Tech section on computer recycling, power use and more on October 1, 2008, entitled, “It Comes in Beige or Black, but you make It Green“.