Electronics Recycling Business Pickup Service

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Our low cost recycling is subsidized by our extensive reuse program. By recycling late model IT equipment and electronic items like monitors, TVs, laptops, desktops, servers, and smart phones, you are enabling us to keep electronics recycling affordable for businesses and the community. We work with over 20,000 businesses that stretch from San Jose all the way up to Marin County and help them recycle their electronics responsibly.

GreenCitizen can take any working or non-working electronic items that plugs into the wall or runs on batteries. Examples of items we accept include computers, TVs, printers, appliances, keyboards, cables, CDs, ink cartridges, and more. Click here for a list of accepted items.

Data Destruction Services

Discarded or donated computers, copiers and media disks are a principle source of information for identity thieves. These items should not be viewed as trash but rather as archives of confidential data.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that 11.7 million people were victims of identity theft between 2006 and 2008. Proper data security is a crucial element in preventing identity theft.

The majority of US recycling companies ship electronic waste overseas. Identity thieves are able to buy and fish though hundreds of hard drives and media disks at a time and pull social security numbers, bank account details, birth certificates, online passwords, passport photos and addresses to create new identities, credit cards, take out loans, and empty bank accounts.

Deleting data does not remove it completely. Data is only gone once the hard disk has been written over at least 7 times with Department of Defense compliant data erasing software or physically destroyed.

Advanced Data Security Services

For your peace of mind and protection, GreenCitizen offers the following data destruction services:

  • Hard Disk Destruction Services at a GreenCitizen Eco-Center
  • Mail-in Hard Disk Destruction
  • Copier Data Destruction
  • Media Destruction
  • On-Site Hard Disk Destruction Services

GreenCitizen Receives “Best For The World Award 2013” for its Electronics Recycling Efforts

best for the world award

GreenCitizen’s efforts in tackling the electronic-waste crisis have been recognized with the Best for the World Award 2013.

The award is presented to the top 10% of all B-Corporations. The B-Corp or “Benefit-Corp” certification is to sustainable businesses what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B-Corporations are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B-Corps can be described as for-profit organizations that benefit the environment and society.

At GreenCitizen, we make sure all the electronics we collect are recycled responsibly and locally. We only work with e-Stewards and R2 certified vendors ensuring nothing gets shipped abroad or dumped in landfills.

But we do much more than that. We put reuse before recycling. A staggering 25% of all the items we collect are put to reuse. We have a whole team of technicians testing and refurbishing computers, laptops, desktops, smartphones, iPads….and the list goes on and on. If there is a company that can find a new home for your old electronics it’s us! The profits we make are reinvested in opening electronics recycling drop off locations, where people from the community can drop off their old electronics for free and we make sure they are recycled responsibly. So far we have five locations in the Bay Area: San Francisco, Burlingame, Mountain View, Berkeley, and we just recently opened our new Eco-Station in San Jose. We can recycle anything that plugs in or runs on batteries. For a small fee we can also take Styrofoam, light bulbs, and tape based media.


How to Recycle Christmas Tree Lights this Holiday Season

christmas tree lights recycling center
Updated November 2018
Recycle Christmas tree lights

It’s that time of year again. That moment when you plug in your Christmas lights and they don’t light up with the cheer you were expecting. Or you might want to try something new this year with your light display and have no need for the old lights. Before you head to the trash can, did you know that you can safely and responsibly recycle Christmas tree lights instead?

Can Christmas Tree Lights be Recycled?

Yes! In fact, Christmas lights contain common recyclable materials like metal, plastic, and sometimes glass. They have a coating of polyvinyl chloride covering copper wiring and fitted with sockets. Most Christmas tree lights are also made up of LEDs bulbs, which are also recyclable.

How to Recycle Your Old Christmas Tree Lights

If you know anything about recycling, it’s that materials need separating beforehand. But don’t start pulling them apart, strand by strand and placing them in your blue recycling bin yet. These cords can tangle in the rotating machinery at the recycling plant, which could break the equipment. Not to mention endanger the people working. That’s why recycling centers have specific collection locations so you can drop off your old Christmas lights without hassle.

To recycle Christmas lights, recycling centers shred the strings and bulbs into smaller pieces. Those pieces are then separated into raw materials (plastic, glass, copper) and reused to make new products, like slipper soles.

Where to Recycle Christmas Lights in San Francisco?

Luckily for Bay Area residents, GreenCitizen will recycle Christmas tree lights at our Burlingame EcoCenter for $.75/lbs. This recycling fee makes sure they’re recycled locally and in the most environmentally responsible way. They’re sent to Sims Metal Management in Redwood City, an e-steward certified electronics recycler. Sims grinds the strings up and separates the plastic and copper for reuse.

Where to Recycle Christmas Tree Lights Everywhere Else?

You can first check with your state’s requirements on how to dispose of your old Christmas lights. Otherwise, a nearby home improvement center like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace, and True Value offer Christmas light recycling. You can also check out HolidayLEDS.com for their year-round Christmas light mail-in recycling program.

Whether one bulb is out, or the entire string, don’t throw away Christmas lights into the trash. If they can’t be donated, consider recycling as a green alternative. These lights contain valuable materials that can be reused again without further damaging the environment.

At GreenCitizen, we strive to develop a sustainable metropolitan model that focuses on the circular economy. Why mine for more resources when the ones we already have can be repurposed?

This holiday season, make the eco-friendly decision to recycle your old Christmas lights instead of putting them in the garbage. Residents can drop them off at our Burlingame EcoCenter while businesses can sign up for convenient building pickups.

If you have any questions about how to recycle Christmas tree lights, call us today at (650) 493-8700.

Hard Drive Destruction in San Jose

san jose hard drive destruction

Identity theft tops the list of complaints filed with the FTC every year since 1999. Last year 18% of all complaints filed were related to identity theft.

Where do these criminals get your personal information from? Well, one way of getting all your private data, like social security numbers, and credit card or bank account information, is from your hard drive (figure 1). Every computer or laptop has one; it’s what stores all your data. It houses the hard disk, where all your files and folders are physically located. A typical hard drive is only slightly larger than your hand, yet can hold over 500 GB of data. The data is stored on a stack of disks that are mounted inside a solid encasement. The data is stored on the hard drive magnetically, so it stays on the drive even after the power supply is turned off.

At GreenCitizen, we take your data security seriously. If you drop off your computer or laptop for responsible recycling, we can destroy your hard drive for $20 to make sure all the sensitive data is gone. We will extract the hard drive from the device and track it, down to the serial and model number. Once the hard drive has been tracked, we will crush it with a special hard drive crushing machine and send you a Certificate of Destruction that will list all the hard drives we destroyed for you. This way you have proof and guarantee that your private information won’t end up in the hands of criminals.

We also offer a certified cell phone wipe. Smartphones store a lot of data these days….and taking out the SIM card won’t do the trick. The information is actually stored inside the device.

So, what are you waiting for? Drop off your old smartphones and computers for recycling at GreenCitizen. And while you’re at it bring your old TVs, monitors, appliances….actually bring all your unwanted electronics and we make sure they are recycled locally and responsibly. We have 5 drop off locations in the Bay Area: San Francisco, Burlingame, Berkeley, Mountain View, and San Jose. By recycling with us you are enabling us to open more drop off locations, providing free electronics recycling for more Bay Area residents. Be part of the movement…be a GreenCitizen!