Letters to the Editor

E-waste program recycles 99 percent of electronic components

It’s almost a year since Washington state began one of the most successful recycling programs for waste electronics. Manufacturers who sell televisions, monitors, computers and laptops in our state cover the full cost of the program.

By the end of November, almost 36 million pounds of electronics were collected and recycled in our state free of charge to households, small businesses, charities, schools and small governments! About 35,000 pounds have been recycled in San Juan County so far.

Instead of burying electronics in a landfill, the “E-Cycle Washington” program recycles about 99 percent of the components of these products — heavy metals, glass, plastics, steel, copper, aluminum — back into production through approved processors. (The average computer monitor contains 4-8 pounds of toxic lead.) The program also aims to prevent electronic waste from going to countries with a history of poor environmental stewardship and human rights.

Did you get or give electronics this holiday season? Donate your old ones to either of the two currently registered collection centers for the E-Cycle Washington program on the islands: The Exchange (376-4887), located at the Orcas Island solid waste facility; and Consignment Treasures (370-5562) on Roche Harbor Road, San Juan Island. It’s a good idea to call first to check on their open hours and on accepted materials. Consignment Treasures can recycle printers, fax and scan machines, cables, mice, keyboards, and other peripherals for a small fee.

It is recommended that you clear sensitive data from your hard drive before donating working electronics or recycling outdated and non-working ones. Visit www.techsoup.org.

Helen Venada
San Juan County Solid Waste Division

Community Events, April 2014

Add an Event
We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.