Did You Know?
Computer (and other e-waste) recycling
Hundreds of millions of computers, cell phones, and electronics sit idle or are discarded by Americans every year. Electronic devices such as these are a special problem because they often contain significant quantities of toxins which can leach into the ground and water. A personal computer can contain up to 1,000 toxins, many of which are known to cause damage to the nervous system, the brain, the kidneys, and can cause birth defects and cancer.
When disposing of electronic equipment, donating it for reuse is ideal. If the equipment is not usable, recycling is the next best option.
California Grey Bears
2710 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz (831) 479-1055
California Grey Bears accepts e-waste drop-off Monday - Friday, 9-3:30pm
Volunteers disassemble all computers and other electronic waste for their valuable metals and their wire. 97% of all electronic waste can be recovered and used again. California Grey Bears also donates workable computers to charitable organizations and handicapped people who qualify.
2650 41st Ave., Soquel (831) 465-0956
Best Buy accepts a limit of 3 items per household per day.
Earth911 maintains a list of Mail-In Recycling Programs.
2460 17th Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 477-9002
1445 Main St, Watsonville (831) 763-1943
Staples accepts a wide array of electronics for recycling at most store locations nationally, with many items recycled free of charge.
Verizon Wireless Hopeline Program
Verizon’s Hopeline program collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider. The phones are then refurbished or recycled in an environmentally sound way. Refurbished phones, complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service, are provided to local domestic violence organizations or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients.
County of Santa Cruz Recycling and Disposal Facilities
Buena Vista Landfill (South County near Watsonville)
Ben Lomond Transfer Station (Newell Creek Rd., San Lorenzo Valley)
Non Hazardous E-Waste -- Scrap household electronic products, computers & peripherals, audio & video components, telephone equipment. Video display devices collected separately.
Hazardous E-Waste -- Televisions, computer monitors, flat screen, plasma, LCDLCD , CRT CRT (cathodes ray tube), or other video display devices, laptop or other computer with built-in screen, up to two devices accepted free per day (otherwise, call 454-2373 for large quantities).
Unacceptable : Loose glass, broken CRT CRT, glass must be contained in a sturdy bag or box. Televisions/monitors must be recorded at the scale house. Do not leave at the recycling center.
City of Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility
Dimeo Lane off north coast Highway 1
Discarded electronic equipment, such as computer monitors, CPUs, printers, network equipment, cables, microwaves, televisions, telephones, video games, cell phones, radios, stereos, VCRs and DVD players, answering machines, printers, fax machines, and electronic toys are accepted at the recycling drop-off area.
City of Watsonville Waste & Recycling Drop-Off
320 Harvest Dr., Watsonville
Computers, Monitors and other electronics are accepted free of charge.
E-Waste Haulers for Businesses
United Datatech Distributors
700 Comstock St., Santa Clara
Facility clean out and electronic waste pickup are available.
2964 Corvin Dr., Santa Clara
Pickup and processing of obsolete or unwanted electronic equipment.
For more information on recycling locations for almost anything, see www.earth911.com.
- Ecology Action
Ecology Action is a nonprofit environmental consultancy delivering cutting edge education services, technical assistance, and program implementation for initiatives that assist individuals, business and government to maximize environmental quality and community well being.
- Earth 911
Guide to local resources including recycling centers, how to recycle, pollution prevention and how help protect the environment
- High Tech Trash: Digital devices, hidden toxics, and human health
By Elizabeth Grossman. Island Press, 2006.
- California Integrated Waste Management Board
Provides information on E-waste and the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003.
- Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground
A PBS investigation into the dumping and dangerous recycling of hundreds of millions of pounds of electronic waste across the developing world.
Last updated by harbisons on Oct. 20, 2010
While the Library has verified the information presented in these files in what it considers to be reliable and authoritative sources, it cannot take responsibility for nor guarantee the accuracy of the information presented.