Here’s what local leaders think of a state program

The Washington Department of Ecology asked more than 100 governments to complete a survey on the effectiveness of the e-scrap program. | Susan Montgomery/Shutterstock

Washington State’s e-scrap program released a report outlining community leaders’ feelings about collection convenience and more. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s E-Cycle program has awarded a series of grants.

Here’s a roundup of state program news.

Local Opinions in Washington

Washington Electric Bike 2021 Local Government and Community Satisfaction Report found that many local governments want better awareness and an expanded list of items covered.

The Washington Department of Ecology asked more than 100 governments to complete a survey on the effectiveness of the program, and 31 responded.

Of those 31, 48% believed collection services in their communities provided by the Washington Materials Management and Financing Authority, which operates the E-Cycle program, were accessible and convenient for the public. Another 29% said they were not, while 23% did not answer.

Commenting on the survey question, one respondent said, “As services reopen and recover, we believe a comprehensive and well-planned relaunch of E-Cycle is warranted and should take a ‘build back better’ orientation. We never receive information about the location of collection sites and we have never seen advertising of them. »

Another said that “the website is not very easy to use and seems to only be provided in English”.

“WMMFA should consider how to make its services more accessible to diverse communities, including underserved communities, the respondent said. “This could include providing services and collection sites closer to where people work and live; provide better access in terms of opening hours; and communicate effectively for diverse communities.

Several respondents asked E-Cycle to add additional materials to the covered list.

Another survey question sought to find out how E-Cycle Washington has affected the community since its inception in 2009. When asked if companies that provide recycling did not provide this service prior to E-Cycle Washington, 48% said answered yes, 16% no and 35% did not answer.

The second part of the question asked if people are recycling their electronics now when they may have thrown them in the trash before the E-Cycle program. In this case, 52% answered yes, 6% no and 42% did not answer.

Several respondents said the questions were leading, with one writing that it’s “unlikely either will ever be no.” I believe there is a lot of e-waste going to landfill now because the majority of the public is unaware of E-Cycle Washington.

Others said, based on visual and anecdotal evidence, that they believe the program has reduced illegal dumping of electronics and increased opportunities for responsible recycling.

However, several respondents highlighted the decreasing amounts of electronics that the program has collected. Overall, E-Cycle Washington collected more than 14.6 million e-books in 2021, compared to 15.2 million books in 2020 and 21.4 million books in 2019.

“It is concerning that the amounts collected by E-Cycle WA are declining as greater amounts of covered products are sent to landfill, both for us in King County and also statewide, according to the most recent waste characterization studies,” one respondent wrote.

Wisconsin DNR awards grants

A new grant program created by the Wisconsin legislature in 2021 awarded more than $85,000 to 15 projects in 13 counties.

E-Cycle Wisconsin Electronics Collection grants are intended to improve access recycling electronics in underserved areas of the state and prioritizing projects in counties that do not have permanent collection sites.

This series of grants will help fund three permanent electronics collection sites and up to 16 one-day collection events, a press release says. The money for the grants comes from fees that electronics manufacturers pay through E-Cycle Wisconsin.

“Our goal is to provide convenient and affordable electronics recycling opportunities across the state,” Governor Tony Evers said in the news release. “These grants will help rural communities that have not had the same access to electronics recycling programs as those in other parts of the state. Responsible recycling of electronics prevents pollution, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates jobs right here in Wisconsin.

Crawford County, Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations, Jefferson County Solid Waste, Marquette County, Norsec Computer Recyclers LLC, Village of Paddock Lake, Polk County Recycling, Richland County, Village of Ridgeway, and Taylor County Solid Waste Department have all received event grants from collection.

Pepin County received a grant to set up two permanent collection sites and Riverview Transfer, Inc. received funding to improve an existing permanent collection site.

Wisconsin’s Electronic Device Recycling Act, which went into effect in 2010, includes a disposal ban for certain types of electronic devices. E-Cycle Wisconsin is a manufacturer-funded program administered by the Department of Natural Resources that has created a statewide network of electronics collectors and recyclers.

“We know E-Cycle Wisconsin has had gaps in access. We are thrilled to be able to use these grants to help fill them,” said Sarah Murray, DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin Coordinator, in the press release. “We look forward to seeing the results of this year’s projects and helping other communities in the future.

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