Beer-soaked laptops and smashed cell phones are not an uncommon sight in Isla Vista, and now students can get rid of these electronics legally as Electronic Waste Management hosts a free e-waste disposal and recycling event this weekend.
EWM, the electronic division of office furniture recycling company ACQuisitions Office, will hold the event at the Earl Warren Showgrounds beginning this Friday from 12 to 5 p.m. and continue with it Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Funding for the free collection service comes from the state, as determined by Senate Bill 20, which requires California to find better methods of disposing e-waste.
Rhonda Chaikin, an EWM marketing coordinator, said people should curb their habit of throwing out the trash when it concerns used electronics.
“It’s illegal to throw out televisions, monitors and other electronics,” Chaikin said. “All of this equipment contains mercury, lead and other elements that will leech out into landfill.”
Besides toxic chemicals, Chaikin said electronics contain easily recycled material like plastic and glass that should be properly processed.
“Even the wood you get from old televisions is crushed, shredded and used in fills,” she said.
EWM accepts all electronic waste including computers and computer parts, technology equipment and audio devices. Once collected, Chaikin said the waste is disassembled and reused for new technology, thus saving valuable materials and keeping chemicals and toxins out of the ecosystem.
Chaikin said she expects a large turnout at the event because many Santa Barbara residents are environmentally conscious.
“We anticipate collecting about 300,000 pounds of material in Santa Barbara,” Chaikin said. “The whole community [in Santa Barbara] is so enthusiastic.”
Co-owner of the company, Cindy Borgstrom, said the concept of e-waste recycling is relatively new. EWM was established only a year and a half ago, but she said people’s response to the effort has been encouraging.
“It’s awesome that people are taking their time,” Borgstrom said. “When they come to drop it off, all they have to do is bring it here and we’ll unload it for them.”
The company has already collected over four million pounds of e-waste for free since its inception. According to the press release, the company does not accept some electronic devices like household appliances, microwaves, furniture, smoke detectors or car and household batteries.
There will also be a free lamp exchange event at the Earl Warren Showgrounds this weekend sponsored by Southern California Edison. The exchange will take place on Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. At the event, people can trade their old lamps for new energy efficient lamps.
According to a flier for the event, it is a part of Operation Light Exchange, an energy efficiency program that allows SCE customers to exchange inefficient halogen and incandescent lights with Energy Star labeled lamps.