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Pile of cellphonesThe Issue
Obsolete televisions, computers, and phones become electronic garbage, also known as electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste is the fastest-growing component of municipal waste streams – 130,000 computers are thrown out every day in the United States alone!

These items contain hazardous toxic chemicals. Computers, for example, contain lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and polyvinyl chlorides – all of these materials have known effects on human health that range from brain and kidney damage to cancer.

What You Can Do
If you do have e-waste, make sure to dispose of it properly. Check with manufacturers to see if they offer take-back programs or consult the Center for the Development of Recycling (CDR) to find a recycler. The Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program also has a list of approved collectors and recyclers of e-waste as well as additional recycling resources.