What is Electronics Recycling?

Electronics waste (E-waste for short) generally means any household item or part that is powered and from power line or battery.

What items are Accepted as Electronics Recycling and Electronic Waste?

We take the following as electronics recycling. These items are considered Electronic waste (E-waste or Ewaste)

  • Computers, Workstations, Servers, Printers, Laptops, Monitors, UPS
  • Stereos, Receivers, Amplifiers, Audio Equipment, speakers
  • Cellphones, Land line phones, Smart phones, Tablets
  • Computer Parts, hard drives, Wire, cable circuit boards
  • Small appliances, lamps, power tools, fans, vacuums
  • Electronic Toys, Model aircraft, trains, cars
  • Medical equipment, boating equipment, general electronics
  • Cameras, Camcorders, AV equipment
  • Batteries that are part of UPS only
  • Other electronic waste recycling

Items Not considered Electronic Waste:

  • Fluorescent Tubes
  • Incandescent Light bulbs
  • Lead Acid batteries (unsealed car type)
  • Common household batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9 Volt)
  • Hearing aid batteries, camera batteries
  • Large appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, freezers, dryers
  • Paper, Cans, Plastic, Garbage
  • other non electronic waste recycling

The Story of Our Electronics Recycling Center

Compuboost, founded in 1992 to service computers, always had electronic waste, primarily from people that abandoned repairing their electronics (like computer, printers, etc) because it was too expensive to repair, relative to getting a new computer or printer.

As the amount of computers began to rise as fewer and fewer people repaired cheap systems, our electronic waste collector suggested we collect all electronic waste for recycling as a public service. Thus in 2012 we began to collect electronic waste for free for our community.

Electronics recycling use to be Free, but why no more?

Normally all the electronic waste is crushed and chipped in huge enclosed machines to plastic and metal pellets, then sold. China used to buy almost all United States electronic waste, but in 2018 they reduced it, and in 2019 they stopped. They require all electronic waste to be sorted to +99.4% purity, which is terribly labor intensive.

Previously, most of our electronic waste was only pure to about 94-95%. To meet the new higher criteria, the ewaste must be taken apart, pre sorted by hand (hazardous items removed, then put plastic in one bin, metal in another, etc) then washed to remove dust, food, impurities and garbage. Then chipped, pelleted and bagged to be sold. So now it is far more difficult to recycle electronic waste.

Few companies want to deal with the extra costs of sorting, since the cost of recovering the raw materials is less than what it costs to sort and chip it. So what happens is that the company just ends up storing it, although now there are environmental hassles of storing it until a buyer is found. Electronic waste is illegal to put in landfill in California, yet too expensive to sort, so is piling high in empty lots, like a scene from the movie Wall-e.

This has added costs, up and down the electronics recycling industry, so we need to charge for some items now. At a minimum our expenses on electronics recycling includes sorting, handling and storing the electronic waste for pickup. Even though electronics recycling is not a break even proposition, Compuboost is still doing it as a community service.

What Electronic Waste has Residual Value?

Computer Graveyard

People are surprised that many things they bring in for electronics recycling have value because they paid huge amounts for it. But those items really aren’t worth anything. For example, electronic waste such as old computers and TVs, stereos, etc have little or no value. Printers, especially are notorious for having absolutely no value.

If electronic items have problems (like mechanical or electrical issues) then they have nearly zero value, because the cost of repair far exceeds what it is worth, not to mention sourcing decades old parts and time it takes to repair and test.

The only major electronic waste items that have some residual value (and even these are dropping quickly) are recent model smartphones that are unlocked, and recent model working laptops. Some other things may have value, but the trouble of refitting it, and then finding a buyer is usually not worth the trouble. It is sad for us to see many good items go to the ewaste crushers because of this.

Standard Electronics Recycling Fees

We have two types of fees for ewaste and electronics waste recycling. By item, where each item is charged a fee, or a set charge for a set weight. Otherwise the electronic waste is charged by poundage. The standard fees are listed below: However, we do have internet specials. Just print or download to get benefits. Fees can also be offest by recycling ewaste that offsets the fees.

  • Collection Fee By Item (less than 20 lbs), $2.00 per item
  • Collection Fee by Item (more than 20 lbs) $5.00 per item
  • Collection Fee by poundage: $0.25 per pound.

Electronics Recycling Waste that Offsets Fees

  • later models smart phones that are UNLOCKED. To unlock and android phone, go to carrier, and deregister the phone. Or, go to the phone settings, and unregister the phone under accounts.
  • later models Apple phones, ipads, etc that are UNLOCKED. To unlock an Apple device, go to icloud and sign in with the correct user. Then on the device or any other device, open the icloud device manager, and choose “do not track” appropriate device to unlock.
  • later models non-bios locked working laptops and tablets. Most laptops and tablets can be turned in as is for credit to offet fees. We will normally destroy the drive to protect the data security. But for business machines with a BIOS lock, enter correct passwrd and then in bios, turn of Bios password and encryption, if any.

Internet Specials and Coupons

Download and print, then bring to the electronic recycling center

Areas we Serve:

We serve south Orange County, and the cities of San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, Foothill Ranch, Dana Point, Coto de Caza, Aliso Viejo.

Other Services

Besides electronics waste recycling, Compuboost is a full service store and offers these other services:

Computer Services

Electronics Recycling Near Me

We service the local South Orange County

  • Aliso Viejo
  • Coto de Caza
  • Foothill Ranch
  • Irvine
  • Ladera Ranch
  • Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Niguel
  • Laguna Woods
  • Lake Forest
  • Mission Viejo
  • Rancho Santa Margarita
  • San Clemente
  • San Juan Capistrano