E-Waste

California's Electronic Recycling Act enacted legislation that made it illegal to dispose of any device with a circuit board into the garbage. E-waste is any consumer product which contains a circuit board, mercury thermostat or has an electronic screen larger than 4 inches.

Includes: musical greeting cards, televisions, computers and monitors, VCR/DVD players, cell phones, answering machines, fax machines, digital cameras, electronic space heaters, thermostats, toys, or any consumer electronic devices.

Excludes:  appliances containing freon or other refrigerants such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezer.  these appliances may be handled differently or require fees for recycling.  Check with Recology at (650) 967-3034.

Warning:  Please do not put e-waste in garbage or recycling containers because their lead, copper, mercury or chromium components can pollute the environment. They are banned from disposal (garbage) but may be safely disposed through the programs listed below.  Please do not abandon wastes--contact Recology for solutions.

Where to Recycle

Depends on your subscription to services

Eligibility & Services

  • Curbside Service (individual carts).  Residents subscribed to curbside service pay higher utility rates than apartments, which includes On Call Plus Clean Up by Appointment. See On Call Plus below about how to arrange services through Recology.
  • Apartments.  Residents subscribed to apartment collection pay lower utility rates than houses, but may still arrange collection for a small fee through the utility billpayer (apartment manager).  Call Recology at (650) 967-3034.  You might also be able to drop off some e-waste at the Mountain View Recycling Center, but call Recology first to check if the item is eligible for drop off at the center.  Remember that air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers are not e-waste--they contain Freon and other refrigerants that require special hanlding.  See pages 7 and 8 of the Resource Annual Guide for more information.  The Resource is mailed to all residents in January every year.

What Happens to the E-Waste?

All e-waste collected by Recology or taken to the SMaRT Station are properly handled to destroy information on them before being recycled for metals and plastics. All data-containing devices, such as computers, laptops, hard drives, and disks are punch-pressed or shredded or crushed to destroy data and protect privacy. No whole items are reused or shipped overseas.  However, you should delete or reformat cell phones before recycling.

On Call Plus Clean Up By Appointment Program

This program is for residents subscribed to curbside service (individual carts).  Residents living in apartments with shared trash and recycling, should contact Recology for special (fee) collection. 

Recology Mountain View will pick up e-waste devices in the On Call Plus Clean Up by Appointment program for residents subscribed to curbside service (individual carts).  Contact Recology for an appointment at 650-967-3034.  Appointments may be exchanged with a Voucher to SMaRT Station. 

There is no fee for this curbside program, but you must box all small items like cell phones (remove the data card), cameras, calculators, etc.  Please write "e-waste" on the box and set it with other large e-waste items away from the rest of the clean up  materials.  Different trucks are used to collect garbage, recycling, yard trimmings, bulky goods, and e-waste.    

The following e-waste items are accepted:

  • Air conditioners*, refrigerators*, freezers*
  • Batteries (household1)
  • Cell phones2, telephones, answering machines
  • Computer monitors and laptops (fee applies for On Call curbside service but not Voucher to SMaRT)
  • Computer disk drives
  • Fax machines, calculators
  • Keyboards, mouse
  • Microwaves (and stoves*)
  • Musical greeting cards and similar advertising materials that use sound
  • PDAs, camcorders, digital cameras
  • Printers, scanners
  • Radios, stereos, tape players/recorders
  • Televisions (fee applies for On Call but not Voucher)
  • Tires (up to 4 passenger tires) (fee applies for On Call but not Voucher)
  • VCRs, DVD players
  • Washer/dryer*
  • Water heaters*

    *Item is not an e-waste but is accepted in the On Call Plus & Voucher clean up program. If taken to SMaRT without a Voucher, these items have a fee.
E-waste that is not asterisked above is also accepted at the Mountain View Recycling Center Drop Off.  Call Recology first at (650) 967-3034.

SMaRT Station

SMaRT Station is located at 301 Carl Road in Sunnyvale. Call (408-752-8530) for more information or view information online.

There is no fee for Residents subscribed to Curbside Service (individual carts) using Vouchers under the On Call Plus program above.  Residents in apartments may self-haul e-waste to the SMaRT Station but a fee may be charged.
  • Batteries (household1 and vehicle)
  • Cell phones2, telephones, answering machines
  • Computer monitors, laptops, disk drives
  • Fax machines, printers, scanners, calculators
  • Fluorescent tubes, compact bulbs
  • Keyboard, mouse
  • Microwave
  • Musical greeting cards and similar advertising materials that use sound
  • PDAs, camcorders, digital cameras
  • Radios, stereos, tape players/recorders
  • Sharps (hypodermic needles) (not e-waste but still hazardous)
  • Televisions
  • Thermometers, thermostats
  • VCRs and DVD players
1 Household batteries may also be recycled through the residential curbside program (Recology Mountain View 650-967-3034).
2 Cell phones may be taken back to retail stores. See a list of participating stores and service providers.

California Product Stewardship Council

Although we have provided a variety of ways above to help you properly dispose of these hazardous items, the costs are ultimately born by local government and ratepayers instead of by the manufacturers who produce the goods and the retailers who sell them. As a consumer you can help drive product stewardship by making informed decisions about the products you purchase, patronizing businesses with take-back programs, and encouraging manufacturers to make consumer goods with less toxicity and more recyclability. For more information on what you can do, visit California Product Stewardship Council at http://www.calpsc.org/.

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