Oregon bans landfill electronics

Effective January 1, 2010, it became illegal for consumers and businesses to dispose of computers, monitors and televisions in the garbage or at disposal sites including landfills, transfer stations and incinerators in the state of Oregon.

The new Oregon law is part of 2007 legislation that also created a free, statewide recycling program for these items.

Penalties for anyone knowingly violating the disposal ban may be as high as $500 for each violation. Each computer, monitor or TV that is disposed of improperly is considered a separate violation.

The purpose of the ban is to require reuse or recycling of unwanted electronics and reduce the amount of harmful waste that goes into the environment.

DEQ offers Oregon residents and business operators the following advice about the ban:

  • If your garbage is picked up at the curb or in commercial dumpsters, do not place computers, monitors or TVs in the trash, recycling bin, at the curb or alongside the dumpster. These items require special handling and cannot be collected via your regular garbage service.
  • If you haul your own trash, remember that disposal sites cannot accept computers, monitors and TVs for disposal. A recycling depot located at a landfill, transfer station or other site may accept them for recycling purposes. Check with the facility first. If you are hauling trash for your business, consider arranging services with an e-waste recycler.
  • Remember to use the Oregon E-Cycles program to get rid of your unwanted computers, monitors and TVs for free. Anyone can bring seven or fewer computers, monitors and TVs at a time to participating Oregon E-Cycles collection sites for free recycling. Households, small businesses and small nonprofits may recycle more than seven items at one time. Oregon E-Cycles defines small businesses and small nonprofits as having 10 or fewer employees.

The Oregon DEQ requires that all materials collected at participating Oregon E-Cycles sites are recycled responsibly and under environmentally sound management practices. DEQ tracks and documents recycling locations and how the materials were handled.

The ban is limited to computers, monitors and televisions and does not include computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, speakers, printers and scanners, or other electronics such as cell phones. DEQ encourages all Oregonians to recycle these items as well. If your local E-Cycles collection site does not accept other devices, there are many other businesses that recycle electronics.

For more information about the disposal ban and answers to commonly asked questions about the ban, visit www.deq.state.or.us.