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E Waste

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Electronic waste, consisting of discarded computers, televisions, cell phones, fax machines, stereos and other electronic equipment, is a massive problem in California. Monitors and televisions cannot be put into landfills because of their lead content. Other electronic equipment also contains heavy metals including mercury, arsenic, cadmium, among others. Computers under five years old and other working electronics can generally be reused, while older computers and broken electronics are generally recycled. Please donate or recycle your old electronics.

How to Donate or Recycle Electronic Equipment

Drop Off Locations

Goodwill Drop off computers, laptops, televisions, networking equipment, cell phones, and some other electronics, working or not, at any Goodwill Donation Center free of charge. For a detailed list of accepted items, visit the Goodwill ReCompute webpage. Goodwill will sort the electronics for reuse and recycling. Usable electronics will be data cleansed, refurbished and loaded with a legal operating system for resale in Goodwill stores. Older electronics will be de-manufactured and recycled. Visit for Donation Center locations.

Other Thrift Shops and Charitable Organizations Generally, these organizations will accept computers that are less than 5 years old and in good condition. Many will also take other electronics in good working condition. For donation options, download the Re-Use Guide (PDF) and look under the "computer equipment" column. Be sure to call before taking items in because electronics acceptance policies often change.

Transfer Stations Six transfer stations in San Mateo County accept electronics for recycling. None of the electronics brought to transfer stations are refurbished for reuse -all are de-manufactured and recycled. Fees are charged for monitors and televisions. The fee depends upon size and ranges from $10 to approximately $40, but can be higher in the case of the largest televisions. There is generally no cost for recycling other electronic equipment such as fax machines, printers, wiring, VCRs, etc. Download this list of transfer stations (PDF) for hours and location.

Other Electronics Recycling Options For a comprehensive list of electronics recycling and reuse options, use the Recycling Center Search Database and search under the "electronics" category.

Pickup Options

BFI San Mateo County provides limited free pickup for customers as part of its bulky pickup program. BFI customers should call 650-592-2411 or visit their website and send an email to schedule a pickup.

South San Francisco Scavenger Company, 650-589-4020, picks up electronics within its service area (Brisbane, Millbrae, and South San Francisco) for a charge.

None of the other Waste Haulers in San Mateo County pick up electronics.

Goodwill picks up for free from businesses with over 20 computers, and charges $25 to pick up less than 20 computers. Data destruction guaranteed. Call 415-575-2150 to schedule a pickup.

County of San Mateo Human Services Agency accepts complete computers six years old or less with working components only. Equipment will be donated to needy families. Items can also be dropped off in Daly City and Belmont. Contact is Al Teglia, (650) 301-8444.

The Computer Recycling Center will pick up from businesses with over 10 items (laptop/computer/monitor/printer). There may be a small fee for pickup based on the type of equipment, quantity, and location. Visit to fill out a request form.

For other Pickup Options, use the Recycling Center Search Database Advanced Search search



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