The city of Napa, Calif., Napa Recycling and Waste Services (NRWS) and local residents and businesses did their part for the environment by collecting over 65 tons of unwanted computer monitors, televisions, cell phones and other electronic junk for proper reuse and/or recycling this month at Napa's eighth annual computer and electronics recycling drive.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board reports that the annual event once again yielded the most electronic waste collected at a single-location event anywhere in the state this year, in keeping with Napa's track record of consistently leading the state and often even the nation in the collection of electronic waste, particularly when measured on a per capita basis.
The annual event was expanded this year to accept "Anything with a Cord", offering locals the opportunity to recycle large end-of-life metal appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, ovens, water heaters and smaller kitchen and household appliances such as vacuums, blenders, food processors, microwaves, toasters, coffee makers and table fans. All e-waste and appliances were accepted in any amount, free of charge. Over 1,250 vehicles dropped off material during the course of the two day event. The additional large appliances collected and handled by NRWS at the event resulted in over 40 tons of appliances being sent to local scrap metal recyclers.
Partnering again with NRWS and Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the city of Napa announced this week its estimated total numbers for the free public collection event, staged at the Napa Valley College Soccer Field parking lot on June thirteenth and fourteenth.
"We are thrilled with the continuing success of this event and honored to be involved," said John S. Shegerian,chairman and CEOof ERI. "It is a true testament to the continuing need of organized electronic waste drop-off sites around California -- and the people of Napa continue to set the bar particularly high."
NRWS handled off-loading, collection and packaging of materials while ERI, which recycles all of the toxic materials it collects at its own Fresno facility, handled shipping and processing for all of the electronic waste brought to the event.
In addition to the more than 61 tons of e-waste collected and sent off to ERI for recycling, two non-profit organizations collaborated to facilitate local reuse of computer equipment. As a result of their efforts, 3.6 tons of e-waste were collected by Computer Recycling Center for reuse at local schools and other non-profits and 0.67 tons by Napa Valley Computer To Schools for reuse at Napa schools. Also collected for recycling for the first time ever at the Napa event were 7,341 linear feet of fluorescent light tubes, 390 compact fluorescent bulbs, 1,100 pounds of alkaline batteries, 60 pounds of nickel-cadmium batteries, 1,600 pounds of gel cell lead acid batteries and 20 pounds of mercury thermometers and switches. Along with e-waste, all of these items fall under a broad category of products that contain hazardous or toxic materials that are so common that they are called universal waste, or "u-waste," that have been banned from disposal at California landfills.
Kevin Miller, the city's Recycling Manager, emphasized how important tracking the legal recycling of e-waste is to the program. "ERI's facility is approved by the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control as an authorized outlet and all activities are monitored by a state-of-the-art surveillance and security camera system," said Miller. "All electronic components are 100 percent recycled and easily traceable using ERI's unique bar coded reports.