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Do you know about AB 341? That would be the 2011 amendment to the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989.
According to the law,
“AB 341 requires that, effective July 1, 2012, all commercial businesses generating four-cubic yards or more of solid waste per week or multifamily residential dwellings of five units or more, must provide recycling services at their establishments.”
You can trace this mandate back to 1989 when the state of California passed AB 939, also known as the California Integrated Waste Management Act. That state law requires each jurisdiction in California to divert at least 50 percent of its waste away from landfills, whether through waste reduction, recycling, or other means.
This means that business owners and apartment landlords are on notice to provide recycling opportunities for their tenants. What does this mean for you? If you’re living in a building that doesn’t provide recycling, you should contact the city.
In addition, California enacted the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, which established the Covered Electronic Waste (CEW) Recycling Program to offset the cost of compliantly handling certain unwanted electronic devices.
What is E-Waste, Where Does it Come From, How Can You Recycle It?
Not everyone is familiar with the term “e-waste” or electronic waste. A simple explanation is offered by the state’s recycling agency, CalRecycle,
“E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their “useful life.” Computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are common electronic products. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled.”
And the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes it as,
“’E-waste,’ ‘electronic waste,’ ‘e-scrap’ and ‘end-of-life electronics’ are terms often used to describe used electronics that are nearing the end of their useful life, and are discarded, donated or given to a recycler. Though ‘e-waste’ is the commonly used term, EPA considers e-waste to be a subset of used electronics and recognizes the inherent value of these materials that can be reused, refurbished or recycled to minimize the actual waste that might end up in a landfill or improperly disposed in an unprotected dump site either in the US or abroad.”
The materials that the e-waste industry collects and processes comes from residential as well as commercial waste. A fairly broad description of e-waste includes smart appliances, smartphones, flatscreen monitors, and many other products that contain electronic components.
When it comes to e-waste recycling, Escondido relies on eco-friendly e-waste pickup services like those provided by Junk King San Diego North. In fact, one of the easiest ways you can recycle your old and unwanted electronics, or e-waste, is to have us come and pick them up from you.
E-Waste Recycling and Avoiding Landfills
This brings us back to AB 341, which, back in 2011, established a new statewide goal of 75 percent recycling to be achieved through source reduction, recycling, and composting by 2020.
According to CalRecycle,
“The Legislature and Governor Brown set an ambitious goal of 75 percent recycling, composting or source reduction of solid waste by 2020 calling for the state and the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to take a statewide approach to decreasing California’s reliance on landfills.”
the goal, an additional 23 million tons will need to be recycled, reduced, or composted in 2020. That is based on an estimated 80 million tons of solid waste generated in 2020.
So, how’s that working for us?
Here’s the official recycling rate percentages for the most recent numbers we have available:
- 2011 49%
- 2012 50%
- 2013 50%
- 2014 50%
- 2015 47%
- 2016 44%
- 2017 42%
- 2018 40%
- 2019 37%
Unfortunately, we have been moving in the wrong direction if we want to reach a recycling rate of 75 percent.
So, while businesses and multi-family units like apartment complexes have the recycling aspect covered for their tenants, if you live in a house, you can still do your part – starting with all your collected e-waste.
What is the Current State of E-Waste in Escondido?
One of the first things we must do is ask the right questions, such as, “Is e-waste harmful?”
The simple answer is, yes, electronic waste contains potentially toxic substances such as mercury, lead, beryllium, polybrominated flame retardants, and cadmium. In addition, the housing and other components can contain micro-plastics that are harmful to the environment.
While the ideal solution is to ensure that every electronic device that is disposed of in Escondido is immediately dispatched to an electronics waste recycler, that isn’t always the case. And there are certain devices that cannot simply be placed in your residential trash bin.
It is illegal to put computer monitors or televisions in the trash, for example. That is because the cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and other components in these units contain metals that are considered toxic waste and require special processing.
The good news is that, in addition to several e-waste recycling facilities in or near Escondido, the City of Escondido offers disposal services free of charge to City of Escondido residents at the household hazardous waste facilities in Escondido, Vista, and Poway.
Note, too, that in Escondido, as in all of California, it is illegal to throw away several other types of e-waste, such as old batteries, computers, cell phones, fax machines, copiers, stereos and more.
It was estimated that in 2019, Americans generated about 45 pounds of e-waste per person. This would mean that, in Escondido with its almost 152,000 residents, we produce close to 3,400 tons here alone. The same report estimated that only 15 percent of that e-waste was properly recycled. Which translates into almost 3,000 tons of e-waste in Escondido going into landfills each year!
The Unique Problem of E-Waste Recycling
The United States produces the most e-waste per person in the entire world, according to a May 2018 study by the Bureau of International Recycling.
And, with the largest population in the country, California boasts about 12 percent of the residents in the US. Consequently, it is fair to assume that we also have about 12 percent of the e-waste, as well.
And the more than 890,000 people living in the North County area in cities like Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista, and Carlsbad, make up about two and half percent of the state’s population. That may not seem significant, but at about 45 pounds of e-waste generated per person each year, on average, which comes out to almost 20,000 tons of electronic waste products every year here.
Fortunately, most e-waste products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. Unfortunately, many electronic products contain materials that render them hazardous, depending on their condition and density. For instance, California law currently views nonfunctioning cathode ray tubes (CRT) from televisions and monitors as hazardous.
Unlike an old sofa or mattress, it’s not hard to hide an outdated computer or laptop. You can tuck it into the back of your closet or under your bed. Over the years, you might be swapping out those computers and printers and soon storage space is at a premium.
Add in the monitors, TVs and fax machines and pretty soon you can find yourself overrun with e-waste.
How Can You Get Rid of Your Electronic Waste in Escondido & Keep the City Clean?
When it comes to electronic recycling, Escondido residents often have common questions.
- ”What can you recycle?”
- “Can you recycle cell phones?”
- “What about flat screen TVs?”
- “Is there anything you can’t recycle?”
And for those who are business owners in Escondido, there are often questions about how to become a green business, how to reduce your e-waste “footprint,” and more.
But the most common question is usually “How can I get rid of my electronic waste in Escondido and help keep the city clean?”
Keeping in mind that a great deal of the e-waste that is generated is made up of devices and equipment that is still in working, useable condition, one of the first things we can do is consider selling or donating our old or unwanted electronics first.
Cell phones and computers of all types are perhaps the most likely candidates for reselling and donating. But many other electronics can be reused and contribute to the wellbeing of others who may not be able to afford new devices or equipment.
A second major step is to make sure that your electronic waste items that are not reusable stay clear of landfills.
One easy way to do this is to either take them to a certified e-waste recycling facility yourself or call a genuinely green business like Junk King San Diego North to take of it all for you.
Is Recycling Your Trash Worth It? Let’s Find Out!
If you’ve been paying attention to certain news stories over the last few years, you may have noticed that the seemingly “easy and simple” recycling process in the United States is broken.
According to one report,
“Recycling primarily sees strong demand from industrial markets, construction activity, and steady demand from the residential household. Over the last five years, each of the three primary drivers has seen significant growth as the US economy and populations steadily grew. Additionally, evolving government legislation and public awareness have pushed for greater demand of recycling services and other forms of waste stream diversion – with overall waste recycling percentages hitting record highs in 2018.”
While this is true, and the waste we recycled in 2018 was close to 94 million tons of waste recycled or composted, according to the EPA. Unfortunately, that still left over 198 million tons going into landfills, incinerated, or worse – like into our oceans or shipped to third-world nations ill-equipped to process it.
Some municipal recycling processes are less efficient and effective than others. Individuals routinely fail to make use of recycling containers and facilities. And economic forces that drive the recycling industry are not always favorable to attaining a desired “zero waste” state of affairs.
And, unfortunately, some trash items – even some e-waste – simply cannot be effectively recycled. However, it has been estimated that as much as 80 percent or more of everything we throw away can be recycled.
And we need to continue pursuing recycling of all trash, including e-waste, in light of the fact that our existing landfills are quietly diminishing in number.
As one article pointed out recently,
“Based on data collected by Waste Business Journal, over the next five years, total landfill capacity in the U.S. is forecast to decrease by more than 15%. This means that by 2021 only 15 years of landfill capacity will remain.”
The number of landfills has shrunk from more than 7,600 in the mid-1980s to roughly 1,250 as of 2021, according to data from InfrastructureReprtCard.org. While modern landfills are much larger and more efficient than their predecessors, their operational lifespans are limited.
The bottom line is that we need to recycle, and we need to recycle more. And this includes all of our e-waste.
E-Waste Recycling for Escondido and the North San Diego Region
In terms of recycling, Junk King San Diego North is on board with the program.
And, if you live in Escondido, we’ll make sure your e-waste is dropped off at the right recycling center. The same can be said for the majority of everything else that Junk King will remove from your home. Even the big-ticket items like old stoves or dishwashers can be recycled and Junk King San Diego North will see that the job is done right.
It might seem a bit over the top to have Junk King roll up in their big truck just to take away your single desktop computer but what is the alternative? You would have to drive to some drop-off center and take up your time. Plus, it doesn’t just have to be that computer that you can get rid of.
Keep looking around your home and yard and you’re sure to find plenty that can be hauled away. Who knows? You might end up filling the truck to the brim! Your home will certainly be junk free after that!
Something to keep in mind when disposing of your old electronics, whether they still work or not, is personal information.
Although recycling most devices, “smart” appliances, and other electronic products can be a fairly straightforward and simple process, some electronic devices may contain personal information and data that needs to be removed first.
CalRecycle provides this important reminder for consumers who want to recycle their e-waste:
“Many electronic products (computers, cell phones, PDAs, etc.) are used to store personal information. Before donating or recycling your equipment, remember to remove all sensitive and personal information from its memory. Note that simply using your keyboard or mouse to delete files does not necessarily completely remove the information from your device’s memory.”
But once you’ve “cleaned” your devices, the good news is that, when it comes to recycling your e-waste items you really don’t have to take on the process yourself. In fact, here in Escondido and elsewhere in the North County, your expert solution for e-waste recycling is only a phone call or mouse click away!
Junk King San Diego North: Expert Junk Removal for Your E-Waste
No matter whether you live in Escondido or any of the other beautiful cities in the North San Diego area, Junk King San Diego North can provide the most efficient, safe and eco-friendly e-waste removal for you.
No need to worry about the pickup or disposal of those old electronic waste items. Not only that, but we will always make sure that your old electronics end up in the right place: whether that’s at a non-profit for those electronics that are still functioning, or a recycling facility to ensure your e-waste is disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
We remove almost all types of e-waste, including:
- Copy Machines
Ready to remove those old electronics? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).
Our professional and insured e-waste removal team will show up at your home or office; we call 15 minutes before we arrive on-site and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck. You point and we haul those items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.