An expansion of a California e-waste recycling program is providing valuable skills to the state’s offender population, as well as meeting waste-reduction goals.
Last month the Prison Industry Board approved the expansion of the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Electronic Waste Collection and Computer-Refurbishment program, doubling the number of participating facilities to four.
Until now, the program consisted of two participating sites: CALPIA’s On-Time Delivery North warehouse, where state e-waste is collected and sorted by offenders, and N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton, where offenders are trained in computer refurbishment and rebuilding with salvageable parts.
The technology recycling program expansion includes two new facilities that will operate similarly to the originals. Offenders at the California Institution for Men in Chino will collect and sort e-waste, and Ventura Youth Correctional Facility will offer a computer-refurbishment program.
E-Waste Recycling Program Helps Address Digital Divide
Charles L. Pattillo, general manager and Prison Industry Board executive officer, believes the program has multiple benefits.
“This program plays a unique role in helping offenders give back to communities,” he said in a press release.
The computers they refurbish are provided to CDCR, county jail inmate programs, under-served school districts and non-profit organizations in communities to help bridge the digital divide. With the expansion, we can now ensure that offenders statewide have the chance to learn these same skills and make a positive difference.”
The cost-effectiveness of the technology recycling program is a win-win-win for state officials, by eliminating e-waste, providing offenders marketable skills and meeting state recycling benchmarks.
“This program will help reduce the amount of e-waste stored by state agencies while improving recycling efforts,” Jeff McGuire, Department of General Services (DGS) chief deputy director and Prison Industry board member, said.
[It] supports the governor’s and legislature’s goal of 75 percent recycling, composting or source reduction of solid waste by 2020 while doing so in a cost-effective manner, with no added costs to any state agency, including CALPIA.”