Proposed updates to the regulations governing E-Cycle Washington, the state’s recycling program for electronic products, would ensure consumers are informed about electronics recycling and improve data collection for the program.
Properly recycling TVs, computers and other electronics is important because these devices may contain lead, mercury and other toxic chemicals that should not go into a landfill. Since 2009, E-Cycle Washington has helped our state’s residents safely recycle more than 289 million pounds of electronics.
The changes would align the rule governing the E-Cycle program with amendments to Washington’s electronics recycling law approved by the legislature in 2013, and scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The Washington Department of Ecology, which is responsible for the E-Cycle program, will hold a public meeting on the rule updates on Dec. 3 and is accepting public comments on the proposal through Dec. 10.
Updates to the rule would require additional reporting on the types of material recovered through E-Cycle, such as the glass from cathode ray tubes, circuit boards, and batteries. The updates also ensure that consumers are given information on how and where to recycle electronics when purchasing a TV, computer or other electronic product.
It would also assign manufacturers’ responsibility for funding the program based on their market share. E-Cycle is an example of a product stewardship program, in which manufacturers take responsibility for proper disposing or recycling their products. Under the current rule, responsibility is assigned based on the number of a manufacturer’s products collected for recycling.