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Oregon Makes Brands Pay to Recycle E-Products

The state of Oregon is requiring electronics manufacturers to either set up their own recycling program or pay their portion of a state-run program to recycle computers, monitors, and TVs.

Just three have chosen to set up their own, and the remaining 180 plan to pay into the state-run program called Oregon E-Cycles, which charges them a fee based on the number of recycled products.

Manufacturers must also pay a fee to register with the state, making their products acceptable to sell at retail outlets. Retailers in part will provide consumers with information about Oregon E-Cycles when they buy new products.

Making brands pay for recycling will encourage product redesign and push them to create a product with less toxic parts, said E-Cycle head Kathy Kiwala.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality estimates that the new law will contribute to an estimated 12 million pounds of computers and TVs being recycled in 2009, reports the Statesman Journal.

Beginning Jan. 1, people can bring in seven or fewer items (computers, computer monitors, and televisions) to one of the state’s 230 registered sites for recycling at no charge.

Some households, small businesses, and small nonprofit organizations (those with 10 or fewer employees) may be able to bring in more than seven items at one visit.

Keyboards, mice, speakers, printers, scanners, or other types of electronics or appliances may be taken by the sites, but they may charge a fee.

The state program, which is now one of 17 in the U.S.,  will cost about $1.5 million in the first year. When Oregon passed the electronic recycling law in 2007, it was the sixth state to do so.

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