Washington State Recycled Over 38 Million E-Waste Pounds Last Year

Uh oh, Oregonians, think you’re the e-waste recycling champs of the Northwest? Think again! This year, residents of the state of Washington recycled nearly twice as much electronic trash as residents of the Beaver State–more than 38 million pounds, as compared to a paltry 18.9.

KGW Newschannel 8 of Portland reports that Washington’s free electronics recycling program works by collecting TVs, computers and monitors this year from households, schools, small businesses and charities at authorized collection sites. The state program is paid for by the products’ manufacturers and regulated by the state Ecology Department–the director of which, Ted Sturdevant, called the E-Cycle Washington program “even more successful than we had hoped.”

E_Waste

image via Pike Research

E-Cycle Washington reports that it the total amount of e-waste collected this year includes 22.3 million pounds of televisions,12. 3 million pounds of monitors, and 3.9 million pounds of computers. This is a great boon to the local ecology–especially areas around landfills and incinerators–as TVs and computers especially are known to contain toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury. Through the State of Washington’s E-Cycle program, electronic equipment is taken apart and separated into materials such as glass, plastic, metal and toxic chemicals, then recycled in accordance with the Department of Ecology.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • NCER-Jason

      It’s really not an accurate comparison to look at the total pounds collected in Oregon and Washington and suggest the Oregon volumes were “paltry.” For one, WA has 6.5 million residents compared to OR’s 3.8 million. Secondly, the WA law allows school districts and small governments to participate, in addition to larger small businesses. Oregon is more limited. On a per capita basis, OR collected 5.1 lbs per person vs 5.8 lbs per person in WA. Given the differences, there’s hardly a clear-cut “champ” in the Pacific NW – both had strong first years.