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Electronics recycling

Garbage and recycling    Metro's Recycling Information hotline    Electronics recycling

Recycle computers, televisions and other electronics. Learn how to store, prepare and transport materials for recycling and what questions to ask electronics recyclers.

Many electronic items, including computers, monitors and televisions, contain hazardous materials and must be recycled properly. Picture tubes, called cathode ray tubes (CRTs), contain three to eight pounds of lead. Circuit boards contain lead, cadmium, mercury and other hazardous materials.

Computer peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, cables, printer, scanner, speakers; cell phones, hand-held devices, photocopiers, fax machines, stereos, VCRs and DVD players should also be recycled.

Industry and government are working together to create solutions for the growing problem of electronics disposal. Metro has played an active role in national Product Stewardship Institute and regional Northwest Product Stewardship Council efforts that examine ways to manage obsolete electronics equipment. As a result of these efforts, Oregon and other states have created electronics recycling programs that include the manufacturers in sharing responsibility for the end-of-life management of these products.
Visit the Product Stewardship Institute site
Visit the Northwest Product Stewardship Council site

Recycling electronics leaves more capacity for landfills and keeps them cleaner and safer.

Oregon E-Cycles

Oregon law enacted in 2009 requires electronics manufacturers to provide responsible recycling for computer CPUs, monitors, televisions and laptops at no cost to anyone bringing seven or fewer items to a participating collector at one time. As of Jan. 1, 2010, computers, monitors, televisions and laptops are banned from landfill disposal in Oregon.

To find a participating electronics recycler in the tri-county Portland metropolitan area, call Metro Recycling Information or visit the Find a recycler page.

Oregon E-Cycles website

Recycling options

Several businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Portland metropolitan area accept electronics for reuse and recycling. Some, but not all of these recyclers participate in the Oregon E-Cycles free collection program.

To find a recycler for your electronics, go to the find a recycler tool or call Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000. Always contact the recycler in advance to verify fees and acceptable items.
Find a recycler

Business electronics recycling

Businesses that generate more than seven items at a time, or require pick up of electronics, cannot take advantage of the free Oregon E-Cycles program, however there are several electronics recyclers that will pick up and accept larger quantities of electronics for a fee. Contact Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000 for more information.

How to store, prepare and transport materials for recycling

To preserve salvage value, keep electronic products indoors and dry prior to recycling. Do not take computers, televisions and monitors apart. This will not reduce the recycling fee and creates risk of shock or implosion of the CRT. Handle products carefully (as you would a new product) during storage and delivery to a recycling drop-off location.

Reusing computers

Some used computers still have value and can be fixed for reuse. However, new operating systems must be purchased if the used computer does not have the operating system purchase certificate with it. This added expense keeps many computers from being reused. If you would like your computer to have a second life, provide paperwork, CDs or software along with your used computer.

Remove any personal information and data from the computer before reuse or recycling. Software products are available that can help you remove information.

Questions to ask electronics recyclers

If you are concerned that your old television or computer will not be handled properly:

  1. Ask how and where the equipment will be processed.
  2. Ask the recycler to provide documentation about the receiving facility that will handle the materials.
  3. Ask for proof that the materials were sent to the facility and handled in an environmentally safe manner.
  4. Ask about the final disposition of the equipment:

    • Will it be made into another product?
    • Will it be used as a flux in a smelter?
    • Will the equipment be reused?

If the answers to these questions are not acceptable, consider using another recycler.

Need assistance?

Metro Recycling Information
Send a message

Related Internet links

Did you know?

Electronics manufacturers are now required to provide responsible recycling for computer CPUs, monitors, televisions and laptops at no cost to anyone bringing seven or fewer items to a participating collector at one time. Peripherals (cables, mice, printers, etc.) are not included at this time. Find a collection site near you on the Oregon E-Cycles website.

Metro Recycling Information

For ideas and information about where and how to recycle, call the Metro Recycling Information hotline, 503-234-3000 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.Metro Recycling Information hotline

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Use the directories or the recycler locator tool to find organizations that accept metals, plastic, paper and many other materials and products that typically end up in our landfills.

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503-797-1804 TDD
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