As COVID-19 took hold and e-scrap collection opportunities were canceled, the public began trashing a lot more of their electronics in Washington state, according to recently reported figures. A 2020-21 waste characterization report produced for the Washington state Department of Ecology by Cascadia Consulting Group analyzed what’s in garbage collected from Washington homes and businesses. The study, which used a waste sampling audit, determined residents and businesses threw away over 41,000 tons of electronics, including TVs, computers and monitors, peripheral equipment, video game systems, audio equipment and other electronics. That was up from an estimated 34,223 tons during the prior audit in 2015-16, an increase of 21%. Looking at just three key material categories for e-scrap recyclers – TVs, monitors and computers – the disposal tonnage increased even more significantly, jumping 187%.


This article appeared in the February 2022 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.