From Mercury News:

Santa Clara County supervisors this week passed what is believed to be the first law of its kind to ensure that electronic waste — computers and other electronic appliances — isn’t exported out of the country for recycling.

Due to low recycling costs overseas, recyclers have a financial incentive to export e-waste to developing countries where it can be broken down at lower cost. But unregulated recycling practices in those countries often have children breaking apart the devices and exposing themselves to lead, mercury and other toxic materials.

Because only the federal government can directly control international trade, the county ordinance approved Tuesday requires anyone who collects e-waste to bring it to a certified recycler. The recyclers must be certified by e-Steward, a program that seeks to prevent electronic waste from being shipped to poor countries.