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Frequently Asked Questions About Electronics Recycling

With so many electronic gadgets out there, it can be confusing to know what to do with them when they no longer work (or are no longer wanted). Read below for the answers to our most frequently asked questions about electronics.

What qualifies as electronic waste?

Electronic waste, sometimes called "e-waste", includes all devices that require electricity to operate and that are no longer functional or needed. If it plugs in, charges up, or takes batteries, it's considered e-waste when it breaks.

Where/How Questions:

  • Where can I bring my old electronics to be recycled?

      Our county has a number of free drop-off sites for all types of common household electronics. Visit our Electronics page and find your particular item(s) in the list of categories at the top of the page. Once you click on the product page, you'll find a list of collection centers in the "Where to Go" section at the bottom of the page.

  • How often are collection events held?

      The County holds collection events for electronics and other types of household hazardous waste twice a year in the Santa Ynez Valley and annually in Cuyama. Additionally, the City of Santa Barbara holds collection events twice a year, usually in the Sears parking lot off La Cumbre Road.

  • How can I recycle my electronics if I can't drive to a collection site or event?

      If you have trash and recycling service at your home, you can call your hauler to schedule up to two free "bulky item" pick-ups per year. Bulky items include couches, mattresses, appliances, computers, and other electronics. After the material is picked up, the haulers sort through it to recover anything that can be reused or recycled.

Why Questions:

  • Why is it so important to recycle old electronics?

      Electronic devices contain heavy metals that can be toxic to humans and wildlife if disposed of improperly. Of particular concern is the metal lead. Some TVs and monitors can contain as much as eight pounds of lead each. Lead is very harmful to many of the body's tissues and organs, including the heart, kidneys, intestines, and bones. It can also impede vital reproductive and nervous system functions.

What Questions:

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