OLYMPIA – After seven years, Washington’s electronics recycling program, E-Cycle Washington, passed a major milestone in February, crossing 300 million pounds of TVs, computers and monitors collected.
The 300 million-pound total includes an estimated 220 million pounds of TVs, 56 million pounds of monitors and 24 million pounds worth of computers. More than 98 percent of the metal, glass and plastic in those products was recycled, and 20 million pounds of toxic lead was kept out of the landfill.
“Washingtonians really took to the E-Cycle program right out of the gate, and people in our state continue to do a terrific job recycling their old electronics,” said Miles Kuntz, the E-Cycle program manager. “Recycling electronics makes sense because we can both prevent waste and keep toxics out of the environment. Keep up the good work, Washington!”
Along with the estimated 6.5 million TVs, computers and monitors that were recycled through the E-Cycle program, more than 280,000 TVs, computers, and monitors were given new life after being sold or donated through reuse organizations like Goodwill, InterConnection, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and others.
Despite the continuing success of E-Cycle Washington, Kuntz predicts the program’s growth will slow in the coming years, at least as measured by weight. That’s because so many of the obsolete TVs with massive glass picture tubes and heavy pressboard frames have already taken their final journey to the recycling center. Newer TVs and computer monitors usually feature much lighter LED or LCD technology.
E-Cycle Washington is a product stewardship program, meaning manufacturers pay for the proper recycling or disposal of their products up front. That means consumers can recycle their used TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, monitors, e-readers and portable DVD players at no cost. Find a location near you at www.ecyclewashington.org.
Andrew Wineke, communications, 360-407-6149, @ecologyWA