recycle keep computers & electronics out of the landfill...

Penscil is NOT an Electronics Recycling Service

Due to increased call volume regarding this page, it has been expanded beyond just computers to include:

Remember:  Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.

For more expert and timely information than you see here, check in with Earth 911 and the CA Integrated Waste Management Board.

In San Luis Obispo County, a good place to start is Recycling & Environmental Services, Inc. off of Orcutt Road in San Luis Obispo, 541-5865.

Electronics, computer monitors and TVs contain heavy metals and other toxins that are not allowed in landfills. Typical CRTs contain up to five pounds of lead. Experts estimate that about 6,000 computers are currently put aside in California each day and that up to 1 billion pounds of lead waste will be generated over the next four years.

KCOY Central Coast News posted the EPA's advice on recycling electronics here.

Here are a few ideas for recycling...


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For general information and help with recycling, check the EHSO Battery Disposal Guide and the relevant US EPA web page. KCOY Central Coast News summarized some battery facts here. Most standard battery types just can't be recycled so we need to minimize our use of them.

Several local merchants who sell batteries also accept and properly recycle depleted batteries. Among them are:

A comprehensive list is maintained on the IWMA Household Batteries page.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation
RBRC in Atlanta provides support for recycling of Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, Li-ion and Small Sealed Lead (Pb) and a Battery Drop-off Locator.

Mercury Refining
recycles silver oxide ("button" or watch) batteries in Albany, NY. 518-459-0846

Bethlehem Apparatus
specializes in recycling, recovery and disposal of mercury batteries and mercury-bearing electronics.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS (cell phones, iPods...)

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Most facilities that accept consumer electronics (phones, TVs, printers, iPods, calculators, game consoles, audio/stereo components, DVD players, VCRs, etc.) also accept personal computers. Some places accept only PCs and some would rather put them to work than recycle their components and materials. See the Computers section below.

All stores that sell cell phones are required to accept them for recycling. Some stores offer trade-ins and/or gift cards toward the purchase of new devices.

You may be able to get some cash for devices. Two companies that offer cash are Gazelle and uSell. ecoATM also has walk-up kiosks that dispense cash in exchange for your devices. One kiosk on the central coast is located at Santa Maria Town Center.

Detailed and up-to-date information is available at All Green Electronics Recycling and the IWMA Electronics page.

The Achievement House in Paso Robles accepts e-Waste including computers, peripherals and entertainment equipment but NOT batteries and household appliances including microwave ovens.

The Exploration Station in Grover Beach accepts virtually all consumer electronics in any condition.

Once a year, usually on a Saturday in late July, the Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos puts a truck in their parking lot to accept all electronics for recycling.

A couple of nationwide organizations that recycle consumer electronics for good causes are Cell Phones for Soldiers and Phones 4 Charity.

You can also box up the electronics and ship them to Kansas. The Easy Recycle Store will accept the package for a fee.


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Televisions and cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors should not be placed in the household trash. They are considered hazardous waste in California and are banned from disposal in landfills because of the lead in the screens.

The Electronic Product Management Directory is a database of facilities that collect specific types of electronic equipment and equipment related parts for reuse or recycling.

In SLO County, you can drop off a limited quantity at no charge to any of the following locations:

  • CEC Electronic Waste Recycling
    2112 Carpenter Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, SAT 11:00-3:00
  • Morro Bay Household Hazardous Waste Facility,
    160 Atascadero Rd (41), Morro Bay, SAT 11:00-3:00
  • Chicago Grade Landfill,
    Homestead Rd, Ataascadero, 466-2985, 7 days, call ahead for hours.
  • Cold Canyon Landfill,
    Hwy 227, SLO, 549-8332, 7 days, 8:00-3:00.


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Cal-Tec Computers,   San Luis Obispo
Accepts computers & peripherals.

Computer Recycling Corp,   Santa Clara
Collects, refurbishes, and redistributes computers to SF Bay area schools.

Metech Recycling,  Gilroy
Fee-based recycling of all modern office machines.

CAPSLO Prado Day Center,  San Luis Obispo
Accepts working computers for reuse.

SLO County Integrated Waste Management Authority,  San Luis Obispo
Helpful information on recycling all types of materials.


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Some manufacturers accept computers for a fee. For example...

Dell,  nationwide
Recycle or donate your old machine or participate in the National Cristina Foundation (NCF) program to help "disabled and economically disadvantaged children and adults receive the gift of technology."

Hewlett-Packard,  nationwide
Learn how to recycle HP products at Staples or FedEx.

IBM,  nationwide  888-746-7426
IBM participates in the financing of State Run Programs where consumers can conveniently recycle their covered End-of-Life IT products free of charge.

eBay wants you to learn more about eWaste and sell, donate or recycle your computer and electronics assets through their Rethink Initiative founded by Intel, Apple, HP, IBM, Gateway, UPS and USPS.

Old electronic instruments (and sometimes computers) that still work can be returned to service by selling them to one of the many asset recovery companies. For example...

Westech Recyclers, Phoenix, AZ, 800-700-8545
TechRecovery, Mendon, MA, 877-837-8872


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Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition — information on the impacts of toxic materials;
Unicor — recycling operations at federal prisons;
Calif. SB20 — the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003;

If you have CDs or DVDs that you would like to recycle, I Commit To Green will take them.



last update 2019 October 15

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