As a service to California readers, I call attention to new state regulations on disposal of household waste.
From today’s San Diego Union Tribune:
Don’t throw away that dead battery, old cell phone or broken digital camera. As of Feb. 9, it will be illegal to send household electronic waste– e-waste– to California landfills.
Batteries and consumer electronics, along with fluorescent bulbs and thermostats, contain low levels of hazardous metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium, which can contaminate soil and water. Those products and others classified by the state Department of Toxic Substance Control as “universal waste” will have to go to a recycler or household hazardous waste collection center….
Among the items listed as “universal waste” by the state Department of Toxic Substance Control:
- AA, AAA, C and D batteries
- Cell phones, telephones, radios and microwave ovens
- Greeting cards that play music
- Sneakers with flashing lights in their soles
- Fluorescent light tubes and bulbs
- Mercury thermometers
Information statewide on what to do with these items is available at Earth 911. I’ve used the Miramar facility here in San Diego and it’s really very easy and convenient– you call to set up an appointment and then just bring your e-stuff to them at the time you’ve set up.
A more pro-active approach is being implemented in Maine:
A first-in-the-nation law went into effect Wednesday in Maine, requiring makers of televisions and computer monitors to pick up the tab to recycle and safely dispose of their products once they are discarded.
Under the law, which mirrors the approach taken in Europe and Japan, manufacturers must shoulder the cost of sending electronics to recycling centers where toxic materials such as lead and mercury are removed.
And as I changed the toner cartridge on my printer last week, I was grateful to Hewlett-Packard for the great program that company has set up.