Governor Tina Kotek signed into law an amendment to Oregon’s electronics EPR program (HB 3220-2), modernizing and bolstering one of the stronger e-cycles programs in the country. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Pam Marsh, had near unanimous support in the legislature, as well as from a broad coalition of stakeholders. HB 3220-2 maintained most of the core components of the original law to ensure a high performing EPR program, but also made the following key upgrades:
- Expands the list of covered devices to include scanners, DVD players, VCRs, music players, game consoles, digital converter boxes, cable receivers, routers, modems, and small-scale servers.
- Creates a robust convenience standard that will provide greater collection infrastructure stability.
- Brings the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) program oversight in line with other state EPR programs by eliminating the State Contractor Program.
Since 2009, Oregon E-cycles, one of the first electronics EPR programs in the nation, has diverted more than 268 million pounds of scrap electronics from landfills, protecting the environment from toxic metals like lead and cadmium. Like many of the early electronic EPR programs, E-cycles relied on weight-based performance goals and a high level of state agency oversight. Over time, the types of electronic devices became lighter, and Oregon added new EPR programs that did not rely on state contracted programs for collection services.
PSI was contracted by DEQ to build consensus on a modernized bill. The process, which was led by PSI’s Lelande Rehard and guided by DEQ’s Abby Boudouris, Cheryl Grabham, and Michael Lee, included five stakeholder meetings and numerous small group meetings. PSI and DEQ coordinated input from a range of electronics recycling experts to shape the bill. PSI’s multi-stakeholder approach engaged producers, collectors, processors, and local and state government representatives in joint problem solving backed by technical expertise.
EPR programs like Oregon E-Cycles provide convenient collection opportunities for residents, ensure collected materials are properly managed, and save local governments money. We look forward to an even stronger performance of E-Cycles in Oregon and expect other states to make similar updates to their electronics programs in the coming years.