Community E-Waste Collection Drive a Big Success

By Albert Perez

Approximately three tons of E-waste were collected in a drop-off
event that was part of Cal Poly Pomona’s community electronic waste
collection program this past Saturday.

The day-long public service event was held in Parking Lot K and
was sponsored by the university’s Environmental Health & Safety
department in cooperation with Facilities Management.

According to David Patterson, coordinator of the event and
director of the university’s Environmental Health & Safety
department, it was a success due to an increase in community
participation compared to last year’s event where there was two
tons of disposable material collected.

“We did more advertising so people were more aware of the event,
so that obviously showed,” said Patterson. “Last year we didn’t get
as many people from off campus as we would’ve liked.”

This year the program advertised the event in local newspapers,
as well as on local radio stations KOLA 99.9 and Jack FM 93.1.

Along with students, faculty and residents from Pomona and
neighboring cities Diamond Bar and Walnut, residents of the
University’s surrounding areas and beyond took advantage of the
recycling event.

“We had people from Fullerton, West Covina, Covina and Rancho
Cucamonga. It was a fairly good scattering, but Fullerton is way
out there so that’s good,” said Patterson.

According to California’s Integrated Waste Management Board,
“E-waste” consists of electronic products like computers, monitors,
televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, phones and fax machines.

These electronics contain toxic materials such as cadmium, lead
and mercury, which can be dangerous for the environment.

Enacted in 2003, and put in effect Feb. 9, 2006 by the
California state legislature, the Electronic Waste Recycling Act
dictates that most electronics cannot be legally disposed of in the

“[Today] people can’t throw electronic waste in the trash
anymore. But the problem is that now you’re expecting all the
consumers and households to be able to know what to do with the
E-waste, where to take it and they don’t,” said Paterson.

“What the law does is it set’s up and assists community
recyclers to properly manage the waste,” he said.

Paterson described the E-waste drop-off event as a service the
university is trying to provide to help the local communities
properly manage the waste so it could get properly dealt with
without polluting the environment.

According to Patterson, cities are beginning to fine people who
dispose hazardous electronics in alleyways and dumpsters.

“Some cities have put cameras on garbage trucks,” said Patterson
regarding the serious measures local governments are taking in
regards to the matter.

“Cities are concerned that people would just throw this stuff
out in the alley ways, which means the toxic material could leak
into the storm drains, into the rivers and the creeks out into the
ocean which is not good, or they could go into the ground water and
we don’t want that.”

“I heard when this stuff goes to a landfill it gets in the water
and causes all kinds of problems and it’s a good excuse to clean
out the garage,” said John Zita, a fifth-year engineering student ,
who disposed of a couple of printers, keyboards and home

Bulky computer monitors and television sets, which are deemed
“obsolete” by today’s technological standards, composed the
majority of the collected waste.

These types of electronics contain components like CRTs (cathode
ray tubes), which are deemed hazardous by the state.

“I had some things lying around at home and wanted to make
space. I just brought my big 28 inch television and 15 inch
computer monitor,” said Pomona resident Aziz Bawany. “I don’t want
them to be a hazard, so I just brought them in.”

Due to the electronic disposal fee California residents have
been paying for the past two year’s when purchasing computer
monitors and visual display devices larger than four inches
diagonally, these types of electronics were collected with out a

Other equipment such as cell phones, printers and keyboards were
collected at a fee of $0.25/pound. The collected money will go
towards the program’s funding.

“Hopefully in the future the state will add more items, besides
screens and CRT’s, to the list that disposal fee is charged for, so
there would be money to offset those items, so eventually it wont
cost people anything to dispose of them,” said Patterson.

The next E-waste drop-off event is scheduled for March 24.

Albert Perez can be reached by e-mail at or
by phone at (909) 869-3747.

Community E-Waste Collection Drive a Big Success

Community E-Waste Collection Drive a Big Success

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