California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Electronic Waste Management

What's Up With This Fee on My Receipt?

On September 24, 2003, landmark legislation established a funding system for the collection and recycling of certain electronic wastes. 

Beginning January 1, 2005, an Electronic Waste Recycling Fee has been assessed on certain "covered electronic devices" sold in California. "Covered" means covered by the law, and includes most video display products such as computer monitors and televisions. The fee is collected at the time of retail sale to California consumers, including Internet and catalog sales.

Collected fees are deposited in the Electronic Waste Recovery and Recycling Account managed by the State of California and are used to provide payments to authorized collectors and recyclers, fostering the development of recycling opportunities and offsetting the cost of properly managing these types of products at the end of their useful lives. Due to hazardous components, it is unlawful to dispose of most covered electronic devices with regular municipal waste.

It is important to note that the Electronic Waste Recycling Fee is not a deposit, and that the covered products do not contain "redemption value", as do many beverage containers in California. Consumers are not entitled to reimbursement of the fee when covered products are recycled. Rather, the intent of the fee is to reduce, or eliminate, the costs associated with properly recycling this material when it becomes waste.

For more information on electronic waste reuse and recycling opportunities, contact the specific product manufacturer and seek guidance on handling the material. You may also want to contact your community's waste reduction coordinator, visit CalRecycle's listing of facilities, or read more about other resources available.

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Last updated: February 7, 2017
Electronic Discards
Contact: (916) 341-6269