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How to Dispose of an Old Computer or Television Set in California

June 26, 2002

California no longer allows dumping of discarded televisions and computer monitors in landfills because most contain lead and other toxic materials, making them hazardous.

There is no state or national program for disposing of electronic waste, so residents looking to get rid of a monitor or television should notify their city governments or local waste haulers. Most cities have periodic hazardous-waste collection events in which they take large trash bins to neighborhoods. Some are now organizing events specifically for so-called e-waste.

Customers may also want to notify the manufacturers of the computers or televisions to see whether they offer take-back programs.

Some computer companies, including IBM and Hewlett-Packard, now offer such programs, but charge for the service.

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