In celebration of America Recycles Day on Thursday, Nov. 15, the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department encourages residents to bring old, unwanted electronics to one of the county’s free and convenient drop-off sites.
Items such as TVs, computers, DVD players, stereos, cell phones and microwaves can be recycled at no charge at both the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station and the Santa Ynez Valley Recycling and Transfer Station.
The transfer stations provide this free service year-round. The South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The facility is located at 4430 Calle Real in Santa Barbara between the El Sueño and Turnpike exits off Highway 101.
The Santa Ynez Valley Recycling and Transfer Station is located at 4004 Foxen Canyon Road in Los Olivos. The facility is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
So far this year, the county has collected more than 600,000 pounds of electronics to be recycled. All collected materials are processed domestically by a certified recycler to ensure the safe and appropriate handling of the electronics.
Unlike some recycling operations in countries abroad, recyclers in the United States must adhere to strict regulations that protect workers’ health and the environment. Because old electronics contain potentially hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury, it is important that they be processed safely.
In addition to the county’s program, some local cities and private companies operate their own electronic waste collection programs. Details about all of these programs can be found on the county’s recycling website by clicking here.
America Recycles Day, sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, is an annual event that strives to increase awareness about recycling. Click here for more information.
— Leslie Robinson is a program specialist for the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department.