- LA Sanitation and ERI have announced the first electronics recycling mail back program for Los Angeles as an alternative to existing drop-off options, according to a statement.
- Residents of Los Angeles County can go online to order boxes for a flat rate of $30, $65 or $90 based on size. They can fill these boxes with a wide range of standard consumer electronics and mail them back to ERI for processing.
- Purchasing this box also comes with guaranteed data destruction and a certificate of recycling. The program has been certified by e-Stewards, R2 and other relevant standards.
California passed an electronic waste recycling law in 2003 — which it is in the process of reevaluating — and Los Angeles residents can currently divert their material in a variety of ways. The city currently accepts electronics at hazardous waste drop-off centers and mobile events. Residents can also post their items on the Los Angeles County Materials Exchange website.
Yet some residents may lack good transportation options for large items, or be disabled, or just not find time to make the trip. Last year, New York started an appointment-based curbside electronics collection pilot for similar reasons and recently decided to expand it to more neighborhoods. Due to the rising costs of CRT units and other factors, ERI will no longer process this material for free, though their existing contract to accept material collected in multi-unit buildings and other sites still stands. The financial terms of ERI's arrangement with LA Sanitation weren't disclosed.
The importance of electronics recycling is widely recognized, but a patchwork of regulations and high costs for certain categories of material have made it difficult in some states. This has led multiple companies to ship certain material to unregulated facilities overseas, which in some cases they say wasn't done intentionally. The nonprofit Basel Action Network, founder of the e-Stewards program, tracked them with GPS units to prove it. Prominently displaying the e-Stewards certification and other qualifications is a sign that Los Angeles aims to avoid any such issues.