OLYMPIA – Washington’s nationally recognized E-Cycle Washington program has achieved a milestone by collecting 200 million pounds of TVs, computers and monitors for free recycling. Two-hundred million pounds equals the weight of 361 fully loaded Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
It took less than five years for the statewide E-Cycle Washington program to reach the landmark 200 million pound mark by increasing collection totals each year. In 2009, the first year of collections, 38.5 million pounds were collected, but Washington consumers were just getting warmed up. The program totals kept climbing each year, and 2013 is on pace to set another one-year record estimated by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to be 46 million pounds.
Washington has historically had one of the highest participation rates in the country among 25 states with similar programs. This year Washington residents will recycle approximately 6.7 pounds of electronics per person.
Funded entirely by the manufacturers of these electronics, the E-Cycle Washington program is a ground-breaking example of a cooperative business/government effort that’s making a difference for the environment and for consumers.
“E-Cycle Washington has been a huge success with Washington consumers, and it is a great example of business and government coming together to reduce waste and protect our environment,” said Ecology director Maia Bellon. “Hats off to electronics manufacturers for taking the lead on this effort and to Washingtonians for once again showing the country it’s cool to be green.”
Electronics often contain toxic materials such as lead and cadmium that are harmful to the environment. There are also reusable resources like aluminum and copper that should not be wasted by throwing them into a landfill.
In addition to the TVs, computers, and monitors accepted by the statewide program from the beginning, Ecology has added e-readers and portable DVD players to the list of eligible products. To find one of the 330 E-Cycle Washington drop-off locations near you, go to www.ecyclewashington.org