Monitors collected for recycling.

In 2019, the E-Cycle Washington program’s total weight collected was 21.4 million pounds, down from 25.3 million pounds in 2018. | Koy_Hipster/Shutterstock

For the first time, the number of flat-panel displays collected under Washington’s e-scrap program exceeded that of CRTs, according to an annual report.

The E-Cycle Washington report for 2019 noted that the unit count of flat-screens was more than CRTs for the first time in 11 years of collections, although specific numbers weren’t provided. On a weight basis, CRT device collections still exceeded flat-panel devices.

The annual report for the mature state extended producer responsibility (EPR) program provides a detailed window in the evolving end-of-life electronics stream. Overall, the weights collected under the program have decreased each year. In 2019, total weight collected was 21.4 million pounds, down from 25.3 million pounds in 2018 and 30.9 million pounds in 2017.

The program covers TVs, monitors and computers, including laptops.

As the total weight decreases, the mix of electronics being recycled is also changing. Because of that, the composition of recovered commodities is morphing as well. The following graph is based on annual reports submitted by the Washington Materials Management and Financing Authority (WMMFA), the stewardship group that oversees collections and recycling on behalf of electronics manufacturers (story continues below graph):

e-Cycle Washington recycling program data.

Note: The categories above are major categories only. The numbers don’t equal 100% because the chart excludes batteries, mercury lamps, landfilled residuals, unleaded glass (not separately recorded after 2013), devices awaiting processing or in transit, and reused electronics.

Last year, participants in the program recycled 8.27 million pounds of CRT glass, 6.12 million pounds of metals, 3.35 million pounds of plastics and 1.23 million pounds of circuit boards.

Which processors got the pounds

Six e-scrap processors were paid by WMMFA to recycle electronics for manufacturers last year.

The following are the companies and the E-Cycle Washington program pounds they handled in 2019: Simon Metals (Tacoma and Vancouver facilities combined), 9.44 million pounds; Ace Metal Co., 5.37 million pounds; E-Waste LLC, 2.58 million pounds; EWC Group, 2.30 million pounds; URT, 1.68 million pounds; and ERI, 5,100 pounds.

Last fall, Simon Metals was acquired by Metro Metals Northwest.

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Van Dyk