Every year Montebello residents discard electronic waste into the waste stream without knowing that it is illegal and harmful to the environment. Electronic waste, otherwise known as e-waste, contains harmful elements such as lead, copper, steel, plastic, cadmium, beryllium, cathode ray tubes, phosphors, and even brominated flame retardants, and these are just a few of the harmful and potentially dangerous elements that can pollute the environment, contaminate our water supply, and have harmful effects on our landfills.
To think that something as simple as a battery, cell phone, fluorescent bulb, monitor, or even a television set can harm the environment was once a foreign thought to us, but now, it is in the forefront of our thinking. What was once an afterthought is now regulated by various agencies and requires specific methods of collection and disposal. The problem is that with each new technology that emerges, the previous versions become obsolete and/or outdated which often leads to the old items being tossed aside or discarded without thought. This is most evident within the disposable society in which we have become accustomed to. Every time a new cell phone becomes available that is better that the previous versions, our tendencies are to want the better, new-er, faster, model. What we do with the old ones depends on our view of the environment and the awareness that we have about recycling.
Recently, the City of Montebello was a sponsor of an e-waste recycling event that was conducted in concert with Montebello Boy Scout Troop 330. The event was a tremendous success and resulted in an estimated 800-1,000 people being able to legally discard their electronic waste to be properly recycled without throwing them in the trash, leaving them at the curbsides, or dumping them in alleyways or commercial dumpsters.
If you would like additional information on the City’s e-waste recycling activities or upcoming events, please contact us at (323) 887-4640 or visit the City’s "Montebello Recycles" Webpage.