Every day, millions of people purchase new electronic devices, often replacing items that have not yet ceased to function.
The e-waste that results is often discarded with regular trash and ends up in landfills across the country and around the world.
“With, like, regular batteries I usually just throw them away. With a car I just take it to some auto store or something,” said Peter Rocha.
“Electronics contain a variety of hazardous materials including heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury. It’s important to keep these out of the landfill where they may leach into the environment,” said Janice Oldemeyer, an employee for Onsite Electronics Recycling, LLC, in an email interview.
The Natural Resources Defense Council website reports more than 80 percent of e-waste ends up in Asia where workers don’t have protective gear and the chemicals contaminate groundwater.
This damages wildlife and human populations.
“We started operating events at Delta College in 2007. It’s by far the longest running e-waste collection event in San Joaquin County,” said Oldemeyer.
Onsite is the local business that comes to campus on the second Saturday of every month to collect and dispose of e-waste in an environmentally sound manner, as regulated by California’s strict standards.
Some of the used but newer electronics in serviceable condition have their hard drives wiped and are refurbished and donated to local organizations.
Other items are properly dismantled, sorted, and sent on to manufacturers who can reuse the materials and prevent them from becoming an environmental hazard.
Students and residents are encouraged to attend the next event on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Shima 2 parking lot.
The complete list of hazardous items that should be brought in for recycling can be found at calendar.deltacollege.edu.