Metro Recycling Information
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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 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.
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
Businesses must handle electronics recycling in accordance with local, state and federal regulations. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has an overview of these requirements.
Download the document
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.
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.
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.
If you are concerned that your old television or computer will not be handled properly:
If the answers to these questions are not acceptable, consider using another recycler.