What is banned?
It is illegal to dispose of these materials in solid waste disposal sites in Oregon:
- discarded or abandoned vehicles;
- large home or industrial appliances;
- used oil;
- lead-acid batteries; and
- computers, monitors and televisions.
The intent of this ban is to divert reusable and/or recyclable materials from Oregon's landfills, especially materials that are toxic and can harm the environment if improperly disposed of.
If your trash is picked up at the curb:
You should make separate arrangements for disposing of these materials so they aren't accidentally mixed with your garbage. Because they may have value as recyclables, check first with your garbage hauler, your local government solid waste department, or DEQ.
If you haul your own trash:
You can be held liable for disposing of any of these materials at a solid waste disposal site. You may, however, leave them for recovery or storage for recycling at a recycling depot located at a landfill or transfer station or other collection site that accepts them.
There may be better options than disposal
In addition to the resources listed, contact DEQ for information about recycling these materials.
- vehicles and home or industrial appliances (also called "white goods," such as water heaters, refrigerators, kitchen stoves, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers): scrap metal dealers, and most landfills and transfer stations, will accept these materials for their scrap value. A fee may be charged for accepting certain appliances since recyclers often need to process the appliances to remove non-recyclable or hazardous parts. Scrap metal recyclers and garbage haulers also often offer pick-up service for scrap metal. They too may charge a fee for this service.
- used oil: for information on recycling household amounts, contact your garbage hauler, transfer station, or landfill. If the oil has been mixed with solvents, paint thinner, or other liquids, it must be disposed of at a household hazardous waste collection site or event. To recycle a large quantity of oil, such as that generated by a business, look in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book under "Oils: Waste" or call DEQ.
- tires: some transfer stations and drop-off depots will accept tires for recycling, and many volume tire dealers around the state will accept used tires for a minimal fee. (Off-road tires such as earth movers and other solid tires not allowed on highways, and tires chipped to Department standards, still can be landfilled.)
If you have large quantities on your property, check with DEQ's Waste Tire Management Program. The program is designed to clean up tire piles before they become health and safety hazards.
- lead-acid batteries: under a law passed by the 1989 Oregon Legislature, battery retailers and wholesalers are required to accept used batteries for recycling. You can trade in as many used lead-acid batteries as you purchase from the retailer. In addition, through 1993, retailers must accept at least one lead-acid battery from you for recycling, even if you do not purchase a new battery.
Batteries also may be taken to a wholesaler, collection or recycling facility, or to a state- or EPA-permitted secondary lead smelter. Anyone who disposes of lead-acid batteries by any method other than recycling may incur a civil penalty.
- Computers, monitors and televisions: Oregon's 2007 law set up a new statewide program (Oregon E-Cycles) that requires electronics manufacturers to provide responsible recycling for computers, monitors and TVs. Households, businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits that employ 10 or fewer people, and anyone giving seven or fewer of these items to a collector at any one time may use the new system free of charge. (Collection sites may accept more than seven items from households, businesses and non-profits with 10 or fewer employees. They may also accept other types of electronic waste. Contact the collector.) To find an Oregon E-Cycles location near you, visit www.oregonecycles.org or call 1-888-532-9253.
If you are a business or nonprofit with more than 10 employees, you may take your computers, monitors and TVs to an Oregon E-Cycles collection site for recycling, but you can be charged for items over the seven item limit. There are many recyclers that provide e-waste services—including responsible recycling and data destruction.
If you are a disposal site operator
The 1991 Recycling Act states that you can be held liable if you knowingly accept the materials listed above for disposal. You can, of course, continue to accept them for storage for recycling or recovery purposes. If self-haulers utilize your landfill, you may want to update signs and flyers to advise the public to separate and place these items in the recycling area, rather than in the landfill.
In addition, new municipal solid waste landfill regulations (Subtitle D) will affect all disposal site operators. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new regulations on location, design, operation, ground water monitoring and corrective action, closure and post-closure care and financial assurance criteria. For more information, please contact the DEQ office in your region.