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|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.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Citing the transition to catch shares management as a key to rebuilding stocks and reducing bycatch, 13 species caught by the West Coast trawl fishery today earned designation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Oregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
BY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Friday, June 06, 2014
BY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
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