If you live in California, don't even think of tossing that obsolete cellphone, dead laptop or archaic printer
into the trash. New state laws that go into effect next month require that all electronic waste be recycled, rather
than dumped in the trash and shipped to landfills. (Of course, you can always do what we do, and preserve every gadget
you've ever owned in a personal museum in the basement.) In 2003, according to the state, 515,000 tons of electronics
were dumped into California landfills; 44% of the waste (by volume) consisted of CRTs and TV sets; the rest, we assume,
consisted of first generation iPods with dead batteries. California's laws are designed to stem the spread of mercury
and other toxins; the environmental rules have been in effect for businesses for four years, but are now being extended
to consumers as well.