Local Limelight: Weeklyish Articles Of Interest
By: Laura Baldschun co-owner of Eco-Guides
Do you have any computers stacked up in your garage or basement? Getting rid of an old TV? A new program called “Oregon E-Cycles” is a great way to recycle these items responsibly. The program is financed by electronics manufacturers and jointly implemented with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Oregon began the program in January and has already reported about 1.5 million pounds collected. They expected to collect 12.2 million pounds for the year.
Oregon E-Cycles is a great example of product stewardship, where everyone involved in the designing, manufacturing, selling and using of the product are responsible for the environmental impacts of that product. The manufacturers are paying to recycle the products they design and build. Hopefully this will encourage manufacturers to make products with less toxic parts.
Retailers are required to give consumers information about E-Cycles at the time they sell the product. They are not supposed to be selling anything that doesn’t come under compliance with the new law. The state government is registering manufacturers and enforcing compliance with the law.
Items that aren’t covered under the present law include computer mice, printers, fax machines and other peripherals. Participating collection sites may take these other devices, but may charge a fee to recycle them.
Before recycling, get rid of any personal or confidential information left on computers. Reformatting the drive or deleting files does NOT destroy data. TechSoup has articles explaining how to do this: “Avoid Data Theft: Clean Your Old Hard Drives” and “Obliterate Hard-Drive Data with Disk-Wiping Software”.
Collection sites are required to recycle computers, monitors and televisions responsibly. They have to follow environmentally-sound management practices established by the DEQ. The e-waste generated from recycling is handled in a way that doesn’t harm our health or our environment. Collection sites may also reuse equipment.
Oregon E-Cycles collection sites can be found online.
Households, small businesses and small non-profits (10 or fewer employees) are allowed seven items. Call the collection site ahead of time if you have more than seven items.
Recycling is one of the areas that our company, eco-guides, focuses on. We are a home consulting service that guides homeowners on the path to sustainability. We save homeowners money while they also save energy and water, reduce toxins and waste from their homes. Our five areas of focus include: energy efficiency, water conservation, green gardening, waste reduction, and toxics elimination. We offer a personalized service with three visits tailored specifically to your needs . Please visit our website at www.eco-guides.us, email us at email@example.com or call 971-255-9159 to set up an appointment or to ask questions.