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Image via ewastecollective.org
Goodwill in the Rogue Valley has stopped accepting e-waste.

Keeping electronics from going to waste

You can still get rid of electronic waste in Ashland, but no longer at Goodwill. The only place Ashlanders can now dispose of e-waste is at Recology’s Valley View Transfer Station, a couple miles northeast of town across I-5 at Exit 19.

The switch is because ECS, the firm that handled most e-waste in the Valley, went out of business and was replaced by Universal Recycling Technologies of Clackamas, said Jamie Rosenthal of Recology in Ashland.

You can still bring seven electronic items a day, Rosenthal said in a statement. E-Waste is defined as: desktop computers, laptops, CPUs, towers, keyboards, computer mice, printers, scanners, projection TVs, older tube TVs (black plastic housing, curved screens) and console TVs (built into wooden cabinets), CRT computer monitors, and cable/satellite boxes.

Rosenthal notes that URT is now the only approved e-cycle vendor in Oregon and therefore is very busy.

“They provide services such as end-of-life electronics destruction, recycling, and are a premier and experienced reseller of refurbished and gently used electronic equipment,” she said.

Goodwill, on its website, said it quit the e-market Sept. 1 because costs and restrictions in e-waste market are increasing, impacting its mission of job training and vocational programs.

Elsewhere in the area, e-waste may be recycled at Southern Oregon Sanitation in Eagle Point, Best Buy in Medford and Allied Environmental Services in White City, according to the Goodwill page.

URT, on its website, says, it ensures “e-waste doesn’t end up in landfills where hazardous materials can leach into the water (and) you can also rest assured sensitive data is handled and disposed of safely and securely.”

URT points to an e-market in crisis, noting a decline in the commodities market resulting in them “getting paid less and less every day … the truth is the industry can’t go on like this much longer.” Much e-waste in the U.S., especially CRT tubes, is being illegally stored or dumped, with little government enforcement, it says.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

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