A new eWaste ordinance went into effect in October that requires all computer equipment that is recycled in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County be handled by an “eSteward Certified” processor. This is a positive development for our county and the planet. The Santa Cruz County Department of Recycling explains it like this:
“The e-Stewards Initiative is a program created by the Basel Action Network (BAN), which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. All e-Stewards recyclers are committed to using best practices for the disposal of e-waste in an environmentally sound manner – no disposal in landfills or incinerators; environmentally safe working conditions; no prison labor; and no export to developing nations where e-waste is either dumped in landfills, incinerated, or dismantled and handled by the young, the elderly, and the disadvantaged.
If improperly processed, e-waste can contaminate the solid waste stream, pollute the air, soil and ground water, and expose handlers to harmful working conditions. Because of low labor costs and lax health and safety regulations in some developing countries, much e-waste is sent there where it may be deposited into poorly maintained landfills, incinerated, or disassembled in a manner that threatens workers, public health, and the environment.”
The Valley Women’s Club and the SLV Redemption & Recycling Centers support the County’s eSteward ordinance and their concern for people and the environment. We now accept old computers, xBoxes, cell phones, and other computerized equipment and sell them to an eSteward-certified processor. We encourage the public to bring us their old computers with the knowledge that they are being reclaimed in an ecologically-sound manner. eWaste is accepted at all three of our locations.