ALERT: All Ecology offices are closed to walk-in service through at least May 4. For more information please visit our COVID-19 response page. See also the Washington state COVID-19 page.
Below are E-Cycle WA frequently asked questions and annual reports.
The following items are eligible for free recycling:
Many other electronics can and should be recycled. You may need to pay a fee to recycle items the E-Cycle WA program doesn't cover.
Recycling locations for covered electronic products may also take peripherals (such as mice, keyboards, speakers, printers, and scanners), cell phones, MP3 players, game consoles, and DVD players. Check 1-800 RECYCLE and call ahead to see what items a recycler will accept.
To find electronics recyclers near you, visit 1-800 RECYCLE.
The following groups are eligible to participate in E-Cycle WA:
Many electronic devices, especially TVs and computers, contain toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury. Reusing and recycling electronics keeps these toxic materials out of our landfills and incinerators and also recovers valuable resources.
Electronics collected through E-Cycle are taken apart and separated into materials such as glass, plastic, metal and toxic chemicals. All recycling follows performance standards set up by the Department of Ecology.
All E-Cycle Washington recyclers must meet the minimum performance standards in the Electronic Products Recycling Rule (WAC 173-900). In addition, all recyclers used by the WMMFA meet the voluntary Preferred Performance Standards found in Ecology's Environmentally Sound Management and Performance Standards for Direct Processors.
Most of the electronics are disassembled for recycling here in Washington. Some electronics go out-of-state for processing and some materials are exported for recycling at approved facilities. The goal of the program, however, is to prevent electronics from being exported to countries with weak hazardous waste regulations.
Metals, plastics and glass are separated and sold as commodities to be reused as raw materials in the manufacturing of new products. On average only 2 percent of the total volume goes to a landfill - mostly particle board from cabinet TVs. Toxic materials such as batteries, leaded glass, circuit boards and fluorescent tubes must be managed properly by approved recyclers.
Registered collection sites must accept televisions, computers, computer monitors, and laptop computers from households at no cost. There may be a charge for home pick-up, curbside services, or other premium services.
A Washington State law passed in 2006 requires electronics manufacturers to pay for this recycling program. The law is an example of "producer responsibility," where the company that makes a product is responsible for recycling the product at the end of its life. Manufacturers include the costs of recycling their products in the cost of doing business.
For more information about producer responsibility, visit the Northwest Product Stewardship website at www.productstewardship.net.
If you have more than 10 electronic items, please contact the WMMFA at 1-855-674-5871 before bringing them to a collection location.
Are you worried about leaving data on your computer when donating or recycling it? It's up to you to remove any sensitive data from your computer before taking it to a collector.
The Washington Materials Management & Financing Authority and its collectors don't guarantee the security of confidential data stored in the electronic products they collect.
Simply formatting your drive or deleting files doesn't destroy data. Many software programs, though, can do this for you. TechSoup has articles explaining how to destroy your data:
2020 collection statistics
2019 collection statistics
2018 annual report
2018 collection statistics
2017 annual report
2017 collection statistics
2016 annual report
2016 collection statistics