E-waste in trash prohibited in California

February 10, 2006

It is illegal in California to place most consumer electronics, such as computers and televisions, as well as fluorescent bulbs and batteries in the trash.

New state rules that took effect Thursday require that residents no longer dispose of printers, videocassette recorders, microwave ovens, fluorescent lighting, glass thermometers and old thermostats in the trash, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Friday.

Residents must dispose of so-called e-waste at a household hazardous waste collection center where recyclers can pick up the items, according to solid waste officials.

The measure is to reduce the amount of lead, mercury, copper and other heavy metals that can leach out when electronic devices are crushed in landfills and pollute groundwater, streams and wildlife.

The state Department of Toxic Substances Control said it will rely on voluntary compliance, the Mercury News said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Trace heavy metals in plastics could lead to long-term environmental problems

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