SALEM — Oregon E-Cycles, the statewide program offering responsible recycling and reuse for many electronic products, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Over the past decade, 250 million pounds of electronics have been recycled and 410,000 electronic devices have been reused through a coalition of stakeholders, including electronics recycling stewardship organizations, recycling and refurbishment centers, transfer stations, thrift stores and retail locations.
In 2007, Oregon was among the first states to pass electronics recycling product stewardship legislation requiring manufacturers to provide free, convenient, environmentally responsible, statewide recycling for computers, monitors and TVs. Oregon E-Cycles launched in 2009, and the following year the state passed a law that made throwing TVs, monitors and computers in the trash illegal. In 2011, the Oregon legislature added printers and computer peripherals, such as keyboards and mice, as devices that could also be recycled for free.
“As the world becomes increasingly crowded with electronics, it is more important than ever to recycle and reuse outdated and inoperative devices in a responsible manner,” said E-Cycles Coordinator Blake Bennett. “Since the Oregon E-Cycles program launched 10 years ago, electronics recycling stewardship organizations, operating under DEQ-approved plans, have worked diligently and collaboratively to develop a robust, comprehensive system, ensuring free access to electronic reuse and recycling for all Oregonians.”
Electronics recycling and reuse are crucial because many devices contain toxic materials, such as lead, cadmium and mercury, which can be dangerous if even small amounts are released into the air, water or soil. Additionally, many electronics are composed of valuable materials, including copper, gold and aluminum, which can be used in the manufacturing of new products. Finally, electronics recycling and reuse align with DEQ’s “2050 Vision of Materials Management in Oregon,” which provides avenues for Oregonians to use materials responsibly, conserve resources and protect the environment.
During July, DEQ oversaw an Oregon E-Cycles 10th Anniversary social media campaign, coordinating with industry partners to celebrate a decade of success. As a result, you can search Facebook and Twitter using #OREcycles to learn fun facts about e-cycling.
Be sure to check out DEQ’s Oregon E-Cycles website, where you can understand more about the program and find a nearby collection site among the more than 240 operating across Oregon.