Oregon E-Cycles, Oregon’s free electronics recycling program, will become even more popular when the state’s disposal ban on computers, monitors and televisions goes into effect on January 1, 2010. After that date, Oregonians must recycle these electronics – they will no longer be allowed to be disposed of in the garbage or at disposal sites such as landfills, transfer stations and incinerators. You can bring all of your electronic devices to NextStep recycling for proper handling. NextStep is an Oregon DEQ approved collection facility for the E-Cycles program.
The purpose of the ban isn’t to make it difficult to clean out your stash of electronics, but to require reuse or recycling instead. Reuse and recycling save energy, conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. In addition, requiring manufacturers to take responsibility for end-of-life management of their products encourages them to design products with less waste and fewer toxics. Cathode ray tubes found in televisions and computer monitors typically contain about four pounds of lead, while printed circuit boards and batteries in computers contain toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury.
Oregon E-Cycles, established by Oregon’s Electronics Recycling Law (ORS 459A.300-.365), is a new statewide program that requires electronics manufacturers to provide responsible recycling for computers, monitors and TVs. The program is an example of product stewardship. Product stewardship directs everyone involved in the life cycle of a product to take shared responsibility for the impacts to our health and environment that result from the production, use, and end-of-life management of the product.
The 2007 Oregon Legislature passed ORS 459A.300-.365 which established the Oregon E-Cycles Program. The law requires manufacturers of televisions, computers (desk tops and laptops), and monitors to provide and finance a statewide recycling program for their products. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). is charged with assuring that the program is implemented according to the provisions in the law.
The DEQ established an Advisory Workgroup to help develop procedures so that the program could begin operation by the required date of January 2009. Our Executive Director, Lorraine Kerwood, has been a member of the Oregon E-Cycles Advisory Workgroup that has crafted the electronics recycling procedures. Lorraine has been a tireless advocate of reuse before recycling.
NextStep Recycling is a collector for Oregon E-Cycles, which provides free recycling of computers (both desktops and laptops), monitors and TV's. The program is financed by electronics manufacturers and jointly implemented with the DEQ.
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.
E-cycling is a better option than disposal because 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 - using recycled materials consumes less energy than using virgin materials to make new products. Because less energy is consumed, less greenhouse gases are emitted.
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.
Anyone can bring seven or fewer computers (desktops and laptops), monitors and TVs at a time to NextStep for free recycling. The program does NOT provide free recycling of keyboards, mice, speakers, printers, scanners or other types of electronics or appliances.
DEQ requires participating recyclers to meet environmentally - sound management practices for safe handling and recycling of collected materials. NextStep Recycling uses a Pacific Northwest processor - so all of your obsolete electronics donated to NextStep that can not be refurbished are recycled domestically. We have audited our processing partner's facility and practices (IMS Electronics Recycling) in Vancouver, WA and have verified they "walk their talk".