Free computer recycling

Published September 18, 2000 12:56PM (EDT)


CONTACT: Robert Haley, San Francisco Recycling Program, (415) 554-3439


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - San Francisco residents and small businesses can recycle their unwanted computers through a free recycling service offered by eight San Francisco computer stores and four computer recyclers. The service was initiated by Supervisor Alicia Becerril who introduced the Used Computer and Electronic Equipment Collection Pilot Project Resolution that was adopted by the Board of Supervisors and signed by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. in January of this year. The resolution urged the City's Solid Waste Management Program to develop a used computer pilot project and identify companies and retailers willing to participate in a collection program. "The Solid Waste Management Program is enthusiastically behind the spirit and intent of the Resolution," said Paul Horcher, Solid Waste Management Program Director.

"Since the amount of obsolete computer and electronic equipment is growing dramatically, it is vitally important for San Francisco to have a recycling program. Not only does this program reduce landfill waste, it also prevents hazardous materials from being released into our soil and groundwater. I commend the participating retail companies for working with the City of San Francisco and showing leadership on this important environmental issue," said Supervisor Becerril.

According to a recent study by the National Safety Council, 31.6 million personal computers will become obsolete in the United States this year and 63.4 million will become obsolete in 2005. Only 14% of the computers that became obsolete in 1998 were recycled or refurbished. Residents and small businesses contribute only a small fraction of the electronics equipment that is recycled. Most unwanted computers are stored at homes or offices where they become less usable and cost-effective to recycle over time.

Residents and small businesses can drop off their computers and peripherals at one of the twelve participating computer stores or recyclers. The recyclers will also collect the computers dropped off at the stores. Depending on the model and condition, the computers will be reused as is, upgraded, used for parts and/or recycled back into raw materials. In some case they will be refurbished and donated to schools, nonprofit organizations or low-income families to help bridge the "digital divide." Residents and small businesses should drop-off their computers as soon as possible because the program may end at any time. The participating computer stores and recyclers are:


CBE Systems 643 Clay Street (415) 956-5524

Central Computer Systems, Inc. 837 Howard Street (415) 495-5888

Compu-Data 22 3rd Street (415) 495-3422

D-Net Computer 3400 Geary Street (415) 668-9311

First Computer 467 Pine Street (415) 981-6666

PC Express 101 Spear Street (415) 957-9952

The Happy Mac 1846 San Jose Avenue (415) 337-4090

The Mac Place 1830 San Jose Avenue (415) 239-2266


Community Computer Center 1465 Donner Avenue (415) 822-4144

HMR 435 23rd Street (415) 647-6071

Resource International 5700 3rd Street #117 (415) 671-4905

SFUSD Computer Recycling Center 1700 19th Street (415) 643-6200

This program is not for large businesses; they can make arrangements directly with these or other recyclers. To receive a free commercial reuse and recycling directory listing all local computer recyclers, please call the San Francisco Recycling Program at (415) 554-3400.

By Salon Staff

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