Multnomah County, OR Cellular Phone Recycling Program

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Multnomah County, OR, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 12/6/07

Source File:


Establishing a Multnomah County Cellular Phone Recycling Program

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Finds:

a. Of the 130 million mobile phones retired annually in the United States every year, less than 1% are recycled, and it is estimated that consumers have stored 500 million obsolete cellular phones that await disposal.

b. Cellular phones in landfills can leach toxic substances into the water and air.

c. Disposal of cellular phones into solid waste in Oregon is a public concern both from a health and resource depletion perspective.

d. Among the toxic metals and other materials present in cellular phones, as reported by the EPA, are:

i. Lead - can damage the central and peripheral nervous systems, blood systems, and kidneys;
ii. Chromium VI - can damage DNA and has been linked to asthmatic bronchitis; and
iii. Brominated Flame Retardants - act as endocrine disrupters and increase the risk of cancer of the digestive and lymph systems.

e. Reclamation of cellular phones constituent elements reduces dependence on diminishing natural resources, including copper, silver, gold, and palladium.

f. Encouraging sustainable economic development creates new local green jobs and shows Multnomah County’s commitment to this burgeoning industry.

g. A county-wide mobile phone recycling program will:

i. Diminish the amount of electronic waste in landfills;
ii. Reclaim metals and plastics for reuse;
iii. Foster local e-scrap recycling industries; and
iv. Draw public attention to the environmental hazards of electronic waste.

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Resolves:

1. Facilities and Property Management and the Sustainability Program are directed to establish a cellular phone recycling program. They will develop and issue a Competitive Proposal Quote for Goods and Services (CPQ) every two years for a program that maintains on-going cellular phone collection containers in select high-traffic public buildings and facilitates an annual cellular phone collection event in at least eleven county buildings, including:

a. McCoy Building
b. North Portland Health Clinic
c. Elections Building
d. Yeon Annex
e. Mid-County Health Clinic
f. Multnomah County East Building
g. Multnomah Building
h. Central Library
i. Midland Library
j. Hillsdale Library
k. Gresham Library

2. Facilities and Property Management is directed to manage the contracts and cellular phone recycling program, including maintenance of the receptacles, assuring they are not a nuisance to Multnomah County customers, and alerting the company chosen when the receptacles are full. Facilities and Property Management may recommend removing a receptacle if it is not highly utilized.

3. Facilities and Property Management and the Sustainability Program are further directed to include the following in any CPQ related to the Multnomah County Cellular Phone Recycling Program:

a. Multnomah County will pay no fees for the manufacture, set-up, and pick-up of collection boxes and program administration;
b. The collection box’s base should be such a size that its placement does not hinder access to public buildings or violate the Americans with Disability Act;
c. Both the box and its contents must be secured to prevent theft;
d. The company must track data and report progress of collection in individual buildings and produce a report quarterly to Facilities and the Sustainability program;
e. The company must guarantee that all personal data which may be stored on a contributed cellular phone will be erased and assumes all civil liability for data, which should have been erased, that is used in the commission of a crime; and
f. For providing space for the collection boxes, Multnomah County will receive a rebate for cellular phones collected and the funds generated by this program will be used accordingly:
i. Multnomah County libraries will receive revenue from the receptacles contained in those specific locations;
ii. The Sustainability Program will receive revenue from the other locations listed for the purpose of improving sustainability in County buildings.

4. Facilities and Property Management and the Sustainability Program will report progress on this program as part of the annual recycling program report.

5. Facilities and Property Management and the Sustainability Program are directed to report the result of the CPQ no later than February 1, 2008.