Home The Latest 24 million pounds of e-waste gets recycled

24 million pounds of e-waste gets recycled

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Tuesday, February 08, 2011

By Corey Paul

During the first year of a statewide ban on dumping electronics in the trash, Oregonians recycled more than 24 million pounds of electronics, or about 5 million pounds more than they did in 2009, according to data released this week by the Oregon E-Cycles program, part of the Department of Environmental Quality.

Program Manager Kathy Kiwala said two factors apart from the ban contributed to the increase in 2010, which was the second year of the program. First, it appears more people are upgrading to digital televisions and getting rid of their old ones. Also, recycling companies had to notify their customers of the ban, which meant more Oregonians learning about the potentially harmful pollutants contained in computers, monitors and televisions.

Under the E-Cycles program, the DEQ works with about 240 collectors across the state and 6 recycling companies.  In 2010, about 30 more electronic waste collectors opened statewide. Companies such as Fossil Solid Waste Transfer & Recycling in Wheeler County expanded access in Eastern Oregon, boosting the numbers further.

The E-Cycles program was established in 2007 by HB 2626, and it uses no tax payer money. Instead, the program relies on annual fees from electronics manufacturers that sell their products in Oregon. Fees are capped at $15,000 and based on sales from the year prior. Manufacturers also have to participate in a collection and recycling program, submitting a plan to the DEQ for approval. Smaller companies pay lower fees, say $40, and don't have to participate in the recycling on the scale of, say Dell.

Some of the electronics contain valuable elements such as copper, gold, and lead. Thus, the recycled products are sold to cover the required services, and can even lead to profit.

"There's no need to go out and mine a mountain top or into the ground when we can mine this pile of urban waste," Kiwala said. "It saves a lot of energy."

Even though the electronics contain toxins and carcinogens such as cadmium and mercury, disposal before the ban posed no imminent threat, according to DEQ. And though waste lingering in landfills is less than ideal, it hasn't been flagged for cleanup. That's because modern landfills are lined, catching runoff in pipes for treatment.

Corey Paul is an associate writer for Oregon Business.

 

 

Comments   

 
James Chesky
0 #1 E-Cycles programJames Chesky 2011-02-08 17:26:07
Even though the article was very short. (Too short really for an important subject, but aren't they all?) I would love to have seen a reference to Free Geek in Portland. This organization's concepts have spread and now FreeGeek type organizations are found throughout the nation. (In 2009, the Free Geek Community Technology Center became the first Oregon nonprofit recognized as a Basel Action Network e-Stewards Recycler, the gold standard for ethical practices in electronics recycling.) That taken from their website http://www.freegeek.org.

The point being, just to say we are tossing less into throw-away bin is one thing. To better understand how it is recycled, or becomes a source for computers for non-profits, the poor and computerless is another matter.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Making faces

News
Thursday, February 20, 2014
02.20.14 Thumbnail ModelsBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

As retailers consolidate and newspapers fold, the business of modeling shifts to ad agencies, apparel companies and new media.


Read more...

How to boost web traffic

News
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY  | OB WEB EDITOR

04.10.14 thumb seo-trafficSEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO).  Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.


Read more...

Powerlist: Meeting perspectives

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum. 


Read more...

The 2014 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon

News
Friday, February 28, 2014

100best14logo ThumbnailThe 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

What I'm reading: Brad Smith & Travis Boersma

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


Read more...

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS