Save Mart Supermarkets last month became the first supermarket chain in California to serve as a collector of electronic waste – and set a high standard doing so. Nearly 250,000 pounds of electronic waste was collected at six Save Mart stores across Northern and Central California over the July 15-16 weekend.

Save Mart’s recycling partner for the event, Fresno-based Electronic Recyclers, confirmed this week that 249,331 pounds of electronic waste was collected at the event, designed to give customers and the community at large an opportunity to safely unload their old computers, television sets and other out-dated, unusable or unwanted electronic items for proper recycling.

The event was designed to provide Californians with the opportunity to finally get rid of those old unwanted items, long since replaced and gathering dust in garages throughout the State.

“We are extremely pleased with the community response to our recent collection events,” said Steve Junqueiro, Vice President of Save Mart Operations, “and even more pleased to have been able to provide such a valuable service to our customers and the communities we serve. We are especially proud to be the first supermarket retailer in the nation to partner with Electronic Recyclers. I’m excited to announce we have already started planning future collection events at our stores.”

It is illegal to simply throw an unwanted television or computer monitor in the trash in the state of California. Electronic items have toxic elements in them that are environmentally hazardous when they are dumped into landfills. By law, such products must now be recycled properly and in ways that won’t harm the environment.

For the weekend event, Save Mart stores in Antioch, San Jose, Merced, Modesto, Visalia and Fresno served as electronic waste drop off points. The e-waste was then trucked to Electronic Recyclers’ Fresno facility for proper disposal.

“We’re extremely proud to be partnered with Save Mart for this special program,” said John S. Shegerian, President and CEO of Electronic Recyclers. “Save Mart is an organization that has long been forward-thinking in terms of environmental concerns, developing many innovative programs — most recently with their adoption of Earthwise reusable shopping bags. This electronic recycling event is a further example of their commitment. They are helping their customers and the community become more environmentally responsible by offering them a convenient opportunity to safely dispose of their old electronic junk at the same time.”

Californians replace hundreds of thousands of TVs, computers, monitors and other electronic devices every year. Plus, they store literally millions more that are not used any more in homes, garages and businesses. Electronic products contain valuable resources such as metal, plastic and glass, which can and should be recycled instead of thrown away.