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Oregon Expands Its Electronics Recycling Program

Oregon is expanding its electronic waste recycling program. Starting Jan 1, Oregon e-waste collection facilities will start accepting printers, computer keyboards and mice for recycling.

For the past six years, the Oregon E-Cycles program has collected computers, monitors and televisions for recycling at 270 drop-off sites across the state.

The system charges electronics manufacturers a fee to pay for e-waste recycling. It helps ensure electronic devices get recycled and that hazardous materials inside them are handled safely.

Program manager Michelle Martin said now that system will help divert additional electronic devices from the landfill.

“The best part is now that they're in the program, collectors and transporters and recyclers will now be paid by manufacturers for processing those devices,” she said. "Otherwise they could be put into a landfill."

Reusing the materials in those electronics helps reduce the carbon emissions associated with making new devices.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality estimates that the program has reduced 141,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in the past five years. That's comparable to taking 30,500 cars off the road for a year.

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Cassandra Profita