Oregon seems to be a state where e-waste recycling is taken quite seriously. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality has announced today that its new E-Cycles e-waste recycling program, in its first full year of operation, has netted 18.9 million pounds of materials at a network of more than 200 collection sites and recycling facilities statewide. That equals out to more than five pounds of electronic waste per Oregonian.
Oregon’s E-Cycles program, reports the AP, said that more than half of the collected e-waste in 2009 was televisions. It is thought that the national move to digital-only broadcasting last year “may have spurred people to get rid of older televisions” – with a fair number of them apparently deciding it was better to recycle their old TVs then dump them into landfills. It helps as well that anyone may recycle up to seven computers, monitors and televisions at a time free of charge. This is possible due to a law on the books requiring electronics manufacturers to fund a program to provide free electronics recycling services in the state. The program though does not cover all forms of electronics, only computers, monitors and televisions.
“We suspected there was a lot of pent-up demand for these kinds of services,” said Kathy Kiwala, DEQ project lead for Oregon E-Cycles, in a statement. “Given that e-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in America, coupled with the rate at which people purchase new electronics, it’s not surprising there’s a glut of e-waste just waiting to be recycled.”