Tech waste from discarded computers, smart phones, older cell phones, monitors and other outdated tech is a big and global problem. While electronics waste comprises only 2-3 percent of the solid waste stream in the USA, the lead, cadmium, chromium, and other materials in aging circuitry account for 70 percent of the hazardous material in landfills, according to an EPA report.

E-waste recycling should be a bipartisan issue. For example, 2019’s “Secure E-Waste and Recycling Act” (SEERA) was introduced in the House and Senate with both Republican and Democratic sponsors. The focus of the bill, which limits the types of electronics that can be exported to the developing world, was inspired by a 2012 Senate report that uncovered counterfeit electronic parts in Air Force cargo planes, a Navy surveillance plane, and Special Operations helicopter assemblies. Those fakes were connected, partially, to e-waste that had gotten into counterfeiter hands. SEERA still sits with the house’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Under the 2015 executive order “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade,” the Obama Administration created the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (NSES), which had several goals, including developing incentives for environmentally friendly electronics, increasing safe management of used merchandise and reducing e-waste exports to developing countries. In May of 2018, President Trump signed the “Executive Order Regarding Efficient Federal Operations,” which revoked a lot of Obama’s “Planning” order. 

Does your nonprofit have a commitment to responsibly disposing of its IT? What resources hep you meet that commitment?

Are you a volunteer with a tech recycling initiative?

Do you know of any nonprofit recycling efforts in your community?

Share your info, practices and questions! 

Upcoming event seeks volunteers in Oregon (Portland metro area):
Earth Day 2021 E-waste Roundup for Downtown Hillsboro, Oregon
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Thu Apr 22, 2021

8:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Help others to properly manage their e-waste this Earth Day. Volunteers will greet and check-in business owners of the Downtown Hillsboro, Oregon district. Volunteers will ask them a few survey questions and direct them through the venue with their e-waste items. Volunteers will help sort and organize e-waste under the direction of the event recycler and Hillsboro Downtown Partnership representatives. Pandemic safety protocols will be in place and adhered to. Volunteers will help ensure participants have a safe and happy experience as they do right by our planet.

Gloves, safety vests, hand sanitizer, and snacks will be available. Please come prepared and dressed for spring Oregon weather: layers, rain gear, sunscreen, warm and sturdy close-toed shoes, mask, water bottle, etc.

The Hillsboro Downtown Partnership (HDP) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to making it easier, more enjoyable and more profitable to do business Downtown. We are a new organization that was formed in December 2014, and began operations on September 1, 2015. Our mission is to cultivate and promote our vibrant, historic Downtown.



Thu Apr 22, 2021

8:15 AM - 11:45 AM  


176 NE 3rd Avenue, Hillsboro, Oregon

  • Must be at least 16

  • 3.5 hours

  • Must be able to lift 20 lbs.; stand for the majority of 3 hours; move items between locations within the event venue; talk with participants and give direction.

Sign up:

Free Geek TechNOW Drive

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FreeGeek, nonprofit organization that takes used IT equipment and refurbished it for low-income families, is hosting a series of tech collection events around the Portland metro area.

All Collection Events will be from 11 am to 2 pm.

In order to focus efforts on the devices most in-demand, FreeGeek's Technology NOW campaign will accept only laptops (including their power adapters), tablets, and cellphones. 

What does the donation drop-off process look like?

Donating is simple, easy and safe by following these four steps:

  • Before you arrive at the donation site, please prepare your donation (e.g. untangle & tie up any cords, remove laptops from bags, and attach any power adapters to their associated equipment, etc.).

  • Please have the donation in one spot, within easy reach, to unload it as quickly as possible.

  • Drive to your preferred drop site and follow the signage & traffic direction to the designated line for drop-offs.

  • When it is your turn simply unload the donation from your vehicle directly into the bin provided, and you are done!

Please note that in order to adhere to recommended social distancing measures, Free Geek will only be accepting drive-up donations directly from your vehicle. Free Geek will not be able to accept walk-up donations. For the safety of our community, we ask that donors wear a face covering and maintain a 6-foot distance from staff (and other donors) at all times.

Will I get a donation receipt for this drive?
Due to the expected volume of drop offs and to ensure the safety of everyone involved, Free Geek will not be offering receipts on site at these events. You can visit to fill out a brief form and have a receipt emailed to you. 

More information and dates: