CEAR: Free E-Waste Recycling In Our Own Back Yard
Televisions and computers are becoming outdated faster than ever before, with the next model always around the corner. By law, electronic items such as these can’t be thrown away with the garbage — they must be taken to a trusted E-Waste recycler.
That’s where California Electronic Asset Recovery, or CEAR, comes in. Not only is CEAR a certified Basel Action Network e-Steward, they have also applied for an ISO 14001 certification that will place their company among a small group of environmentally sound businesses in Sacramento.
CEAR counts the California State Lottery, the City of Rancho Cordova, and the County of Sacramento as some of their biggest clients, and Kristin DiLallo Sherrill, CEAR’s business development manager, believes CEAR’s transparency is the reason so many government agencies trust them with their E-Waste.
“Every hard drive that comes to our facility, no matter where it comes from, will be destroyed,” DiLallo Sherrill said. She also mentioned that one government agency even logs on to CEAR’s website to watch them destroy the hard drives.
CEAR has also been found by the Basel Action Network to be a responsible E-Waste recycler. The non-profit organization is trying to deter the export of E-Waste to other countries by monitoring the practices of recyclers in the U.S.
“They audit E-Waste recyclers to make sure they’re actually tearing apart the equipment and sending it to approved downstream recyclers,” she said. ”A lot of the E-Waste industry is semi-black market, where they’ll take shipping containers and just load computers and load monitors and televisions and not take them apart. They’ll just send them overseas for a certain value. They end up in little kids’ hands and little kids will be taking them apart.”
CEAR prides itself on its commitment to both the Basel Action Network and the environment: they make sure every last bit of material they receive gets recycled, from the cords cut off of televisions to pallets of unwanted license plate frames.
“Right now we’re about 1.2 million pounds a month, and every single little bit of the electronics is completely recycled,” DiLallo Sherrill said. “Anything that we use as a residual material, even the shrinkwrap, we recycle.”
Even though E-Waste can be dropped off for free at CEAR’s facility, located at 3678 LeMay Street in Mather, anytime Monday through Friday, CEAR holds E-Waste recycling events all over the Sacramento Valley to reach as many people as possible. One of the biggest events they hold was at Cal Expo on Sept. 18.
“We did over 300,000 pounds,” DiLallo Sherrill said. ”We partnered with the Day in the Life Project and that day we got 85 cameras, and then we’re donating 35 new cameras because we filled 35 bins.”
Non-profit organizations wanting to team up with CEAR for a fundraiser stand to raise quite a bit of money, as well. For every bin filled with televisions, monitors and laptops, CEAR will give 10 cents a pound to the organization, and for every bin of all other E-Waste they will give five cents.
“If they fill up two bins with equal portions, it’s $1,500,” she said. “It’s better than any cake sale or bake sale or car wash.”
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