E-waste in Oregon

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Today the Oregon DEQ posted a news release to announce that they have received almost collected 10 million pounds of television sets, monitors, and computers in the first 6 months of the Oregon E-cycle Program. The state originally estimated that they would collect 12 million pounds for the entire year.

The Oregon E-Cycles Program, which provides free, convenient recycling of televisions, computers and monitors throughout the state, collected 9.54 million pounds of waste for recycling during its first six months, far above originally projected rates. The program, which launched Jan. 1, originally projected collection of 12.2 million pounds of material throughout 2009.

The total amount of electronic waste collected at the more than 200 collection sites in Oregon in April, May and June was 4.81 million pounds, up slightly from 4.73 million pounds tallied for the first three months. Of the 9.54 million-pound total for the first half of 2009, more than half (56 percent) was from collection of televisions, 33 percent from monitors and 11 percent from computers.

Unwanted computers, monitors and TVs – referred to as electronic waste or “e-waste” – is the fastest growing waste stream in the U.S. With technology constantly changing, we replace our electronics every few years. In 2007 alone, Americans generated about 232 million units of computer and TV-related e-waste, only 18% of which was recycled. In addition, it’s estimated that 235 million more units are stored in our basements, closets and garages.

Did You Know?

  • According to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, one metric ton of e-waste from computers contains more gold than that recovered from 17 tons of gold ore.
  • The U.S. EPA estimates that recycling 1 million computers prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of over 17,000 cars.
  • According to the U.S. EPA, 40% of lead and 70% of other toxics found in landfills – including mercury, cadmium and polybrominated flame retardants – are from electronics.

    E-Cycling Conserves Natural Resources

    Electronics contain valuable materials – including copper, gold and aluminum – that can be recycled and used in new products. Recycling these materials prevents the need to extract virgin materials, conserving natural resources.

    E-Cycling Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    Using recycled materials consumes less energy than using virgin materials to make new products. Because less energy is consumed, less greenhouse gases are emitted.

    E-Cycling Protects Our Health and Environment
    Electronics contain a host of hazardous substances. Even small amounts of these toxics can be dangerous if released into the air, water and soil. E-cycling protects our health and environment by keeping these substances out of our landfills and incinerators.

    Where can I find an Oregon E-Cycles collector? Click here for Oregon E-Cycles collection sites and services near you.

    Thoughts, Comments, Questions…

    About John Tarantino (325 Posts)

    My name is John Tarantino ... and no, I am not related to Quinton Tarantino the movie director. I love writing about the environment, traveling, and capturing the world with my Lens as an amateur photographer. You can connect with me via Google+ or via Twitter: Follow @EnvironmentBlog

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  • 4 Comments on “E-waste in Oregon

    1. There should really be government-funded recycling centers for consumer electronics, especially since it is the fastest growing recyclable category in the U.S. These collection centers are definitely a start though!

    2. Very interesting.. I would curious to know how much someone would be willing to pay for the old parts and how much an incentive this would be if people knew they could sell the old equipment.. Companies who do this recycling may even be able to advertise by paying the television companies to place stickers on the actual televisions

    3. 10 million collected already this year when they guessed they would get 12 million throughout the entire year. THats very impressive. More cities should do this because clearly it is popular.

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