Washington electronics collection drops for third year in a row
- The weight of electronic devices collected for recycling in Washington dropped for the third year in a row, reaching a record low since the state's Department of Ecology began the program in 2009, as reported by E-Scrap News.
- Nearly 36.86 million pounds of devices were collected by the state in 2016, down from a peak of 45.2 million pounds in 2013. In turn, per capita collections dropped from 6.03 pounds to 5.13 pounds.
- Televisions made up an increasingly largers share of the devices collected, accounting for 83.1% of the weight in 2016. Monitors comprised 9.5% of the weight and computers comprised the remaining 7.4%.
The state's E-Cycle Washington program saw a steady increase in material — televisions, computers, monitors, tablets, portable DVD players and e-readers — up until 2013. Since then, changing technology and lighter devices have likely played a role in the decreasing weight. Many consumers may have also brought in all of their older devices that had been sitting around the house by now.
This trend has included a decline in CRT screens, which has also been seen in states such as California and Wisconsin. The supply of CRT units in other states has remained more steady but the costs of dealing with them have been universally difficult. Multiple states are still stuck with stockpiled material left over from companies that closed for financial reasons.
Last year, Washington's Department of Ecology took the strong step of fining Seattle-based company Total Reclaim for illegal disposal of televisions containing mercury because state law requires recyclers to ensure devices are properly processed. Because of their location the state's electronics recyclers can more easily export devices to Asian markets. Though their movements will likely be under more scrutiny now by groups such as the Basel Action Network, which tracked the Total Reclaim shipment, to ensure that devices are going to regulated facilities.
- E-Scrap News Washington state reports record low collection weights
- E-Cycle Washington 2016 YTD
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