We all like making milestones.
According to Ted Sturdevant, director for the Washington Department of Ecology, Washington state has recycled 100 million pounds of electronics.
By our own standards, that's equal to the weight of five Space Needles!
The program is called E-Cycle. The 2006 law that requiredmanufacturers of this stuff to fund a program to recycle these productsbrought these companies together. Its no secret what the key to success hasbeen. They did the one thing that is necessary for recycling; they made iteasy and convenient.
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The basic component we are talking about is TVs. The program statsshow that 62% of the poundage comes from older sets being disposed of. Thereare cell phones, computers and monitors among the haul, totaling 3.3 millionpound of electronic waste coming in monthly.
It seems like a huge number but in the future with GPS units,electronic book readers, portable computers, I-pods, just a litany of itemscoming at consumers, the "old" ones are going to have to go someplace.Better to get a handle on it now.
We are able to reclaim some impressive products from this stuff.Some of the high-end electronics contain gold and silver. There are lots ofcopper and zinc among other metals.
In some cases, lead and mercury arebeing extracted more to keep them out of landfills than anything. In fact,part of the benefit to recycling this stuff is to avoid having to make itfrom scratch in the first place.
If you take 100 million pounds of electronics, you save around31,448 tons of carbon equivalent in greenhouse gases as emissions. Of coursethose emissions are a contributing factor to climate change.
E-Cycle Washington is establishing itself as one of the better,nationally recognized programs of its type. When it started they estimatedthat the average citizen of the state generates 6-7 pounds of solid waste each day. Right now, close to 6 pounds average isbeing reclaimed. That is a really decent amount!
In case you are wondering, 250 E-Cycle Washington collection sitesexist around the state. You can go to www.ecyclewashington to look up a sitenear you.
For those of you who've participated, thanks for keeping the EvergreenState, well... Green!