Washington E-Scrap Program Continues to Run Strong
Friday, January 10, 2014
Posted by: Lindsay Kittleson
Washington e-scrap program continues strong run
Jan. 10, 2014
Washington state has released its annual e-scrap program report, showing a nearly 4 percent gain in collection from 2012 to 2013.
E-Cycle Washington collected approximately 45.2 million pounds of used electronics in 2013, its fifth year of operation. Compared with last year's total of 43.5 million pounds, e-scrap recycling in 2013 increased by 1.7 million pounds, or 3.9 percent overall. Washington residents recycled an average of 6.6 pounds of used electronics per capita during the year, up from 6.4 pounds in 2012.
The one slight disappointment for the program in 2013 was seeing collection volumes drop from 3.5 million pounds during December 2012 to just 2.9 million pounds in December 2013.
A county-by-county breakdown of collection shows that King County, the most populous county in Washington and home to Seattle, accounted for 36.2 percent of collection by weight. Just one other county – Snohomish, with 11.3 percent – was in double digits, with collection spread relatively evenly throughout the state.
Miles Kuntz of the state's Department of Ecology credited a multi-prong public awareness campaign for the successes of the five year-old program, but he added there's still room for growth among Washington residents. "The success of the E-Cycle Washington program is based on public education and outreach," Kuntz told E-Scrap News. "Even though the program is five years old now, and we began working on public education before operations started on Jan. 1, 2009, it is not yet a second nature kind of thing where consumers automatically know what to do with the electronics they want to recycle or dispose of."
Outreach efforts have included targeted event publicity, newspaper and billboard ads throughout the state and social media campaigns.
A comparison of state collection figures by the Electronics Take Back Coalition indicates that Washington's e-scrap program has been one of the most successful in the country. While new figures are just beginning to be reported on by states, last year's figures showed Washington with a strong pounds per capita rate – at 6.3 pounds – and the second highest overall collection total by weight – at roughly 43.5 million pounds. California, which boasts the country's largest population, was the only state to collect more used electronics: 210.8 million pounds.