Oregon launches e-cycling program
Recycling electronics is free in all cities with at least 10,000 residents

To lessen the amount of electronics waste tossed in the trash and to encourage responsible recycling, the Oregon E-Cycles program was launched statewide on January 1, 2009.

Oregon E-Cycles provides free and convenient recycling of computers, monitors and televisions in all Oregon counties and in all Oregon cities with a population of at least 10,000. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality oversees the program, which state lawmakers made possible through 2007 legislation.

Electronics manufacturers finance the program. Many manufacturers support the DEQ-administered state contractor program by paying operating fees. Some operate their own statewide recycling program. All of these programs meet the same environmental management standards and operate under the Oregon E-Cycles umbrella.

The program does not include free recycling of cell phones, computer peripherals such as keyboards and mice, and other electronic items.

Beginning January 1, anyone bringing seven or fewer items (computers, computer monitors and televisions) may recycle their items at no charge at participating collection sites throughout the state. Households, small businesses and small nonprofit organizations (those with 10 or fewer employees) may be able to bring in more than seven items at one visit, but should call the collection site ahead of time before doing so. (In addition to overseeing the collection sites, Oregon E-Cycles plans to hold special collection events throughout the year.)

People interested in recycling other electronics devices not covered under the Oregon E-Cycles program (items such as cell phones, DVD players, computer peripherals, scanners, etc.) should check with the collection site to see what their policy is for taking in these items. Some sites may accept these items and may charge a fee; some may be unable to accept anything other than computers, monitors and televisions. A complete list of collection sites and contact information will be available on the www.oregonecycles.org website.

Retail outlets selling computers, computer monitors and televisions will be required to sell only brands that are listed as “compliant” or “pending” on DEQ’s manufacturer compliance list. Retailers will provide consumers with information about Oregon E-Cycles when they purchase new computers, monitors and televisions.

Manufacturers and a state-hired contractor, the National Center for Electronics Recycling, based in Davisville, West Virginia, are responsible for making sure the collection sites and services operate smoothly. DEQ recently approved three manufacturer-run collection programs, offered by Dell, Inc., of Round Rock, Texas; Washington, D.C.-based Manufacturers Recycling Management Company LLC (MRM); and the Individual Producers Responsibility Group (IPR). The three manufacturer programs plus the state contractor-run program operate under the Oregon E-Cycles umbrella. Manufacturers and the state contractor will ensure that products collected through the program will be managed in a way that does not harm public health or the environment by adhering to DEQ-prescribed environmental management practices.