Universal and Electronic Waste- what is it and how do you properly dispose of it?

Universal waste comes primarily from consumer products containing mercury, lead, cadmium and other substances that are hazardous to human health and the environment. Examples of universal waste are batteries, fluorescent tubes, and many electronic devices. Electronic waste, also known as "e-waste" is consumer electronic equipment that is no longer wanted. E-waste can include computers, printers, televisions, VCRs, cell phones, fax machines, stereos, and electronic games. Electronics may contain lead, copper, and other heavy metals or potentially toxic substances.

Both types of waste can harm public health and the environment, which is why they need to be disposed of in particular ways. Universal and electronic waste contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. When they are thrown away in the trash, they end up in landfills, and these toxic compounds can leach into soil and water, polluting lakes and streams and making them unfit for drinking, swimming, fishing, and supporting wildlife. 

Fortunately, there is a solution: return your used electronics for responsible recycling, rather than throwing them in the trash. Every time you replace one of your electronic devices, it’s your responsibility to be sure your old one gets recycled properly.

In Los Angeles, LA Sanitation has established a number of permanent collection sites throughout the City, known as S.A.F.E. CENTERS. These S.A.F.E. CENTERS are open every weekend and provide a timely and convenient way to dispose of your residential, household e-waste. You can also take Universal Waste to an LA County HHW Roundup event.

So, to recap: 
1. Sell or donate electronics that still work.
2. Do a quick online search where you live to see if there are any designated drop off recycling centers or if your local trash service might have a designated day for e-waste pickup. 
3. Spread the word about proper disposal of universal and e-waste!