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On July 24, 2012, the Santa Cruz City Council adopted a new ordinance to regulate the collection and recycling of electronic waste in the City. The ordinance takes effect on January 24, 2013.

The full text of the ordinance is available here.

For more information, contact the City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department at (831) 420-5162 or

Frequently Asked Questions about the e-Waste Ordinance

What does the new e-waste ordinance do?
The purpose of the ordinance is to give the City a means to ensure that all electronic waste disposed of within the City is responsibly managed.

The ordinance requires that:
a) No person, partnership, corporation or other entity shall collect any electronic device for recycling in the City unless the electronic device is delivered for recycling to a certified recycler which meets the certification standards required by the City. At this time, two third-party certification agencies are accepted by the City of Santa Cruz: (1) The e-Stewards Initiative, and (2) R2 Solutions (R2S).
Note: The e-waste collector is not required to be certified, but must deliver the e-waste collected to a certified recycler.
b) The City must be notified in advance of any e-waste collection events. E-waste collectors must include in all publicity and signage that the collected e-waste will be sent only to approved certified recyclers. The City may conduct inspections or review invoices, manifests, etc. to verify that materials are being properly recycled. The ordinance includes a provision for fines for repeated violations after due notice.

Why is the City doing this?
If improperly processed, e-waste can contaminate the solid waste stream, pollute the air, soil and ground water, and expose e-waste handlers to harmful working conditions. Because of low labor costs and lax health and safety regulations in some developing countries, some e-waste is shipped there where it may be deposited into poorly maintained landfills, incinerated, or disassembled in a manner that threatens workers, public health, and the environment. Recyclers that are certified according to the standards of this ordinance follow practices that prevent these problems from occurring.

When does this ordinance take effect?
The ordinance takes effect on January 24, 2013, six months after final adoption by the City Council.

What are the approved third-party e-waste certification organizations for the City?
a) The e-Stewards Initiative is a program created by the Basel Action Network (BAN), which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. All e-Stewards recyclers are committed to using best practices for the disposal of e-waste in an environmentally sound manner – no disposal in landfills or incinerators; environmentally safe working conditions; no prison labor; and no export to developing nations where e-waste is either dumped in landfills, incinerated, or dismantled and handled by the young, the elderly, and the disadvantaged. To become e-Stewards certified, recyclers must attain International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 certification, maintain an annual licensing agreement with BAN, which includes payment of a licensing fee based upon a sliding scale calculated on the volume of material recycled on an annual basis, and undergo an annual verification audit done by an independent auditing agency with associated charges. There are four independent auditing agencies nationwide qualified by BAN to conduct e-Stewards certification audits. More info:
b) R2 Solutions (R2S), is a non-profit organization established to house the “Responsible Recycling practices for Use in Accredited Certifications Programs” (R2 Practices), which were developed through an EPA-convened multi-stakeholder process. Recyclers certified by R2S must meet the R2 Standard which sets forth requirements relating to environmental, health, safety, and security aspects of electronics recycling. R2 also requires e-recyclers to assure that more toxic material streams are managed safely and responsibly by downstream vendors–all the way to final disposition. It also prohibits e-recyclers and their downstream vendors from exporting these more toxic materials to countries that have enacted laws making their import illegal. The R2 Standard focuses on the performance of electronics recyclers in the areas of: environmental and public health; worker health and safety; security (data and facility); the whole of the recycling process and chain of custody of materials through final disposition. All R2 certified electronics recyclers maintain necessary permits, licenses, and insurance as required by state and federal regulations. R2 requires that all recyclers send materials to licensed and permitted facilities. Rigorous shipping and material tracking systems must be employed by all R2 certified recyclers. More info:

How can I tell if an e-Waste collection event or recycler is properly certified?
Under this ordinance, all e-waste collection events in the City of Santa Cruz are required to indicate on their notices and advertising that all collected materials will be delivered to a certified e-waste recycler, and must specify the recycler to which the materials will be delivered. Check the ads or notices to be sure this information is included. If you want to verify the information, or find a certified recycler, the websites for e-Stewards and R2S both include pages which enable you to find certified recyclers by name or by location.

What do I need to do if I want to hold an e-waste collection event in the City?
a) Make sure that the e-waste recycler you will use is certified by e-Stewards or R2S.
b) Include the following in all advertising and notices for the event:
• the collector’s name, address, telephone number, website address (if any) and the name of a contact person
• a statement that all collected materials will be delivered to a certified e-waste recycler and specify the recycler
c) At least 10 days prior to the event, provide a notice including all info above to the City of Santa Cruz by email or mail as shown below: 

    City of Santa Cruz Dept. of Public Works 
    Attn: Waste Reduction Manager 
    809 Center Street, Room 201 
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Are there certified recyclers in our area?
There are already several e-Stewards certified recyclers in the Bay Area, and more are in the process of applying for certification. The websites for e-Stewards and R2S both include pages which enable you to find certified recyclers by name or by location.

What is the definition of “e-waste” in this ordinance?
This ordinance covers the collection and recycling of all electronic devices defined as follows:

Electronic device: Any device powered by electricity (including batteries) that contains circuitry and is identified by the State of California as hazardous waste, whether whole or in fragments, including parts, components, or assemblies thereof: Examples include, but are not limited to: televisions, computers, central processing units, mobile computers (including notebooks, netbooks, tablets, and e-book readers), computer accessories (including input devices, webcams, speakers, data storage devices, servers, and monitors), televisions (including portable televisions and portable DVD players), video display devices (including digital picture frames and portable video devices), digital imaging devices (including printers, copiers, facsimile machines, image scanners, and multifunction machines), television peripheral devices (including video cassette recorders, DVD players, video game systems, game controllers, signal converter boxes, and cable and satellite receivers), digital cameras and projectors, digital audio players, telephones and electronic communication equipment (including cellular phones and wireless internet communication devices), networking devices (including routers, network cards, modems, and hubs), audio equipment, portable video game systems, personal digital assistants, portable global positioning system navigation devices and microwave ovens. Electronic device does not include motor vehicles or large appliances.

Questions:  or 831-420-5162

Last updated: 10/9/2013 8:44:15 AM