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Showing posts with label E-Cycle Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label E-Cycle Washington. Show all posts

Thursday, April 3, 2014

After 39 years, the 1-800-RECYCLE Hotline has joined the social revolution!

by Michelle Payne, outreach & education, Waste 2 Resources Program

The Washington Department of Ecology invites you to join our Facebook page for the 1-800-RECYCLE Hotline! Please visit our page, “like” us, and “share” it with your Facebook friends. You'll find Green Tips on Tuesday, Shout Outs on Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Trivia on Friday, and other interesting recycling information.
Throwback Thursday? Yeah, we do that.

Check out the 1-800-RECYCLE Hotline Facebook page to:
  • Post recycling questions and receive answers.
  • Locate recycling facilities and events.
  • Learn ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Share innovative recycling ideas.
If you know of a useful recycling website, facility, or special collection event that we don’t have listed, please share it on our Facebook page. We want to learn from you, too!

What is the 1-800-RECYCLE Hotline?

The 1-800-RECYCLE team maintains a database of more than 1,500 recycling facilities to link the public with recycling opportunities available in Washington. We hope that through our use of social media, we will increase that number as we connect with new potential recyclers.

The hotline phone service remains a vital part of 1-800-RECYCLE and the E-Cycle program. You can still dial 1-800-RECYCLE and talk to a real person between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays). You can also email us at 1800recycle@ecy.wa.gov.

Call 1-800-Recycle or search 1800recycle@ecy.wa.gov

Thursday, March 27, 2014

2012 Washington Solid Waste Highlights

By Ellen Caywood, Environmental Planner, Waste 2 Resources Program

Washington’s waste management system relies on partnerships among state and local governments and the private sector. State law requires the Department of Ecology to develop regulations for solid waste handling and disposal facilities, and a state plan for managing and reducing waste.

To track progress, Ecology compiles an annual report of solid waste disposal and recycling trends in Washington. The report also tracks moderate risk waste trends, and what Ecology is doing to reduce the use and impacts of toxic substances.

Top Tidbits

We invite you to learn more in the 22nd Annual Solid Waste Status Report but want to share a quick list of tidbits:
  • E-Cycle surpassed 200 million pounds of electronics recycled in the first five years! Learn more in Chapter 2.
  • Learn about ways to recover nutrients and fuels from organic materials – composting, anaerobic digesters, and more in Chapter 2.
  • Reducing toxic threats by preventing uses or releases in the first place is the smartest, cheapest, and healthiest approach. Learn about Ecology’s efforts in Chapter 2.
  • What is the status of local solid and hazardous waste plans? How can I be involved in updating these plans? See Chapter 2 for details.
  • In spite of continued budget reductions for litter pickup programs, over four million pounds of litter was collected in 2012 by the Ecology Youth Corps, local partners through the Community Litter Collection Program, and the Departments of Correction and Natural Resources. Details in Chapter 3.
  • The 2012 statewide recycling rate was 50 percent. Find out which materials are included and the benefits of recycling in Chapter 4.
  • In 2012, over 23 million pounds of hazardous waste was collected, and 84 percent was recycled, reused or used for energy recovery. Find out what types of wastes and details by county in Chapter 5.
Find all this and much, much more in the 22nd Annual Solid Waste Status Report!

Please contact Ellen Caywood for more information (360-407-6132).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"E-waste" - What do you do with it?

By Miles Kuntz, E-Cycle Washington Program, Lacey

Since E-Cycle Washington began five years ago, over 212 million pounds of electronics - equal to the weight of 383 fully loaded 787 Dreamliner jets - were recycled. That kept nearly 14 million pounds of lead alone out of landfills! The Department of Ecology estimates that 915,000 TVs, computers and monitors were recycled in 2013 through E-Cycle Washington.
E-cycling not only recycles valuable materials within our electronics, but it also assures that toxic components like lead, cadmium, arsenic and brominated flame retardants are managed responsibly and kept out of the environment – and our food chain.
Click image to enlarge.

E-cycling not only recycles valuable materials within our electronics, but it also assures that toxic components like lead, cadmium, arsenic and brominated flame retardants are managed responsibly and kept out of the environment – and our food chain. The Department of Ecology oversees the E-Cycle Washington program to ensure hazardous components are safely managed and to maximize recycling of all materials.

What is e-waste?

E-waste (or electronic waste) is consumer electronics that no longer work or are just outdated and unwanted. It includes computers, other office equipment, TVs, mobile phones, entertainment devices and more.

But these devices are only "e-waste" if you throw them in the trash. Electronics are full of valuable materials like copper, aluminum, glass and even plastics that you can recycle.

Don't trash it; E-Cycle at a location near you!

Washington’s free, statewide E-Cycle program provides convenient collection sites for computers (including tablets), monitors, e-readers, portable DVD players and TVs. By state law, the E-Cycle program is paid for by the manufacturers of these devices.

There are 335 free E-Cycle drop-off sites spread throughout the state with at least one in every county. You can find the one nearest you by searching EcycleWashington.org or calling 1-800-RECYCLE.

Some common electronics, such as cell phones and printers, are not currently in the E-Cycle program, but a few larger electronics retailers take these and other electronics for free through their own recycling programs. Check with local retailers like Best Buy and Staples to see if you can recycle your cell phones, printers and other items with them.

If you have any questions about E-Cycle Washington, contact Miles.Kuntz@ecy.wa.gov, (360) 407-7157, or Christine.Haun@ecy.wa.gov, (360) 407-6107.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

E-Cycle Washington reduces waste and helps manage clutter

Elisa Sparkman, Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction Program
I suppose I could find a tiny bit of silver lining to the huge winter storm that affected Western Washington in January. The storage shed in my back yard caved in from snow weight and broken branches. And though the repair has been a pain, the past few months have forced me to finally purge some major clutter.

If I am honest, I would probably not have done this any time soon… or ever. Over the course of the repairs, I made plenty of trips to the local transfer station. With what I can only describe as a mini-museum of obsolete electronics, I became a frequent participant in E-Cycle Washington, a free electronics recycling program that is overseen by Department of Ecology (Ecology). As an Ecology employee, it is really nice to experience firsthand how an agency-run program helps reduce waste in the statewide community.

It’s been three years since E-Cycle Washington began. E-Cycle Washington is a product stewardship program. Product stewardship is an environmental management strategy that directs all those involved in the design, production, sale and use of a product to take responsibility for minimizing the product's impact to human health and the natural environment throughout the life of the product.
Since 2009, E-Cycle has collected almost 100 million pounds of covered electronics.
Since 2009, E-Cycle has collected over 140 million pounds of covered electronics.

E-Cycle Washington is a manufacturer funded program that is managed by the manufacturers through an independent party, the Washington Materials Management and Financing Authority, overseen by the state and is free to consumers. Since the program began three years ago, 140 million pounds of electronics (TVs, computers and monitors) have been collected, with almost all of this recycled. That is a lot of waste kept out of our landfills! In 2009, there was still 64 million pounds of electronics (all types) thrown in landfills. This shows that consumer participation is the key ingredient for success.

Programs like E-Cycle Washington pave the way for product stewardship programs for other materials and products. Ecology is working with producers of fluorescent lights on a product stewardship program for mercury containing lights, which will be available starting in January 2013.

Product stewardship programs are ways that we, as humans, can take an active role in managing the amount of waste and toxic chemicals on our planet and help pave the way for a more efficient future. And they can help us make more space in our storage sheds!

Monday, April 2, 2012

E-Cycle Washington – the free, convenient and responsible way to e-cycle

by Miles Kuntz, E-Cycle Washington, Ecology Waste 2 Resources Program

E-Cycle Washington may sound like a program for bike riders, but it’s not. In fact, it’s for everyone. E-Cycle Washington is a free electronics recycling program overseen by the Department of Ecology. Electronics manufacturers fund the program; no state tax dollars are used. Ecology oversees E-Cycle Washington to ensure that electronics are recycled responsibly and safely.

Under this program, the following can recycle electronic products at no charge:
  • Individuals
  • Households
  • Small businesses
  • Schools and school districts
  • Small governments
  • Charities
  • Special purpose districts

(For details on how those on the above list are defined, go to this link: Who can recycle with E-Cycle Washington?)

To find a free E-Cycle Washington drop-off site in your area (there are more than 290 statewide), go to http://www.ecyclewashington.org/. Be sure to look for businesses on the list that feature E-Cycle Washington’s green plug logo next to their name. They’re the only ones registered with the program.

Consumers can recycle certain electronics for free through other means, but be wary. Free recycling does not always mean responsible recycling. It’s important to recycle responsibly because electronics contain toxic materials that can pollute soil, water and air if mishandled.

E-Cycle Washington currently accepts the following products:
  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Computer monitors
  • Portable or laptop computers, including “tablet computers”
  • e-readers (also called e-book readers)

At this time, computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice and printers are not accepted by the program.

E-Cycle Washington has been recycling electronics for more than three years now. To date, more than 126 million pounds have been collected through our statewide network of collection sites. Each year’s total has surpassed the previous one.

Education and promotion are keys to the success of any recycling program, even a free one. Some of the efforts so far to promote E-Cycle Washington include:
  • Most retailers provide e-cycling information on the receipt when you buy a computer, monitor, TV or e-reader.
  • Radio ads sponsored by the manufacturers have blanketed the state the past two years.
  • A number of public utilities have included inserts in their monthly bills.
  • Local governments promote the program.
  • Newspapers have reported on the program, including announcing the achievement of the 100-million-pound collection mark last summer.

So now you know what to do with your unwanted or outdated electronics! E-Cycle is free and convenient. And it’s important for the environment. Electronic products contain toxics like lead and mercury, as well as valuable resources like copper and other metals that don’t belong in our landfills.

Look for the E-Cycle Washington logo and recycle!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Product stewardship is responsible 21st century "waste" management

by Kara Steward, Waste 2 Resources Program

The E-Cycle Program collects and recycles televisions, monitors, and computers.
The E-Cycle Program collects and recycles televisions, monitors, and computers.
Do you ever wonder how local governments ended up responsible for waste management? A century ago, crowding and waste in industrial cities gave rise to repeated disease epidemics. Fear of these epidemics created political support for public investment in sanitation infrastructure.

Clean water and sewerage came first, and later, at the beginning of the 20th century, collection and disposal of municipal refuse. Cities took on waste disposal responsibilities.

But at the beginning of the 20th century, municipal refuse was different than it is today. It was mostly coal ash and food scraps, with a small proportion of simple manufactured products like paper and glass. Today, 71 percent of our waste is products and packaging, some containing toxic components. Garbage has changed significantly over the last 100 years, but our waste management system has not. *

Today, local governments and ratepayers fund the collection, recycling, and disposal of increasing amounts of packaging and products. Some call this “welfare for waste.” Others view it as financially unsustainable, especially in these economic times. There are better ways to manage resources and reduce waste.

Future waste management system

Product stewardship (also called Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR) is the way of the future for our waste management system. Product stewardship is a policy that requires those who design, market and use products and packaging to share responsibility for end-of-life management of those materials.

Product stewardship programs require:
  • Producers to finance the take-back and recycling of their product and encourages product redesign to minimize wastes and toxics.
  • Consumers to properly use and dispose of the product.
  • Governments to set standards and enforce the laws.
In other words, if you design it, produce it, sell it, or use it -- you have a role to play in the responsibility for the impact on the health and environment for the product’s full life cycle.

Washington’s product stewardship programs

Washington State has two product stewardship laws – for electronics and mercury lights. When it started in 2009, the E-Cycle Washington program was an immediate success. This summer we will reach the 100,000,000 pound milestone for computers, monitors, and televisions recycled through E-Cycle Washington.

Since 2009, E-Cycle has collected almost 100 million pounds of covered electronics.
Since 2009, E-Cycle has collected almost 100 million pounds of covered electronics.

The stewardship program for mercury-containing lights is under development, and will be in place by January of 2013. The 2011 legislative session included four product stewardship bills: carpet, medical sharps, pharmaceuticals, and adjusting and adding more products to the E-Cycle law.

Product stewardship programs positively affect local government budgets. In 2009, Snohomish County saved $550,000 in collection, hauling and processing costs for electronics. Additionally, county residents have 15 drop-off options, not just the three operated by the county.

Product stewardship leads to less waste, less toxics, provides more sustainable funding, and establishes important feedback loops. It is a key component of the state’s solid and hazardous waste plan, “Beyond Waste.”

For more information on Product Stewardship

* Credit for the above analysis goes to the Product Policy Institute; http://www.productpolicy.org/content/history-waste

Friday, January 29, 2010

E-Cycle Washington saves money & the environment

You know that big old TV taking up space in the garage, and that ancient computer sitting next to the desk -- those pesky relics that you just don’t know what do with them? You’re tired of tripping over them and you’d like to get rid of them, but you know you shouldn’t just throw them in the landfill. Right? So, what are you going to do?

Well, if you live in Washington, you’re in luck! Here, you can E-Cycle them! And even better, you can E-Cycle them for FREE!!! In its first year, more than 38.5 million pounds of TVs, computers, and monitors were recycled through the E-Cycle Washington program. State residents and businesses proved once again that Washington really is the ever-“green” state.

When E-Cycle Washington began on January 1, 2009, it was one of the first in the nation to collect unwanted TVs, computers and monitors for free recycling. The program is paid for by the manufacturers of these electronic products and regulated by the Department of Ecology. E-Cycle Washington has safely and responsibly recycled:
• 22.3 million pounds of televisions
• 12. 3 million pounds of monitors
• 3.9 million pounds of computers

This total of 38.5 million pounds far surpassed initial hopes and estimates of 26 million pounds. And these numbers don’t include the thousands of working units that went to reuse through sales or donations by charities such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and St. Vincent DePaul.

Electronic products contain heavy metals and chemicals at hazardous levels making them difficult to dispose of safely. For example, depending on its size, a TV's cathode ray tube contains an estimated four to eight pounds of lead. Recycling electronic products keeps toxic metals such as lead and mercury out of landfills and the environment.

Across the state, households, schools, small businesses and charities took advantage of this free-of-charge program. More than 230 collection sites and services in Washington were busy from the first day of operations. The heavily populated areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties were responsible for more than 64 percent of the total pounds collected.

And the energy savings from recycling rather than land-filling the computers alone (10 percent of the total volume) is equivalent to more than 690,000 gallons of gasoline.

It’s easy, convenient, and affordable to E-Cycle. Find a collection site near you, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.

See the news release, First year of Washington's electronics recycling program collects over 38 million pounds.