In 1998, recycling options for residents and small businesses in King County were limited. Large companies could hire services that were interested in recycling large quantities of electronic equipment. Some electronics manufacturers also offered their corporate customers a recycling service for their used equipment. However, these options were not available to residents and businesses that had only one or two pieces of equipment to be recycled.
As new information emerged on the toxicity of electronic equipment, it was determined that environmentally sound recycling was the best method for handling used electronic equipment. The Solid Waste Division (SWD) began to research recycling options for residents and businesses with small quantities of equipment.
The Computer Recovery Project
In 1999, SWD spearheaded an effort to expand the local electronics recycling infrastructure in Seattle and King County. The goal was to assist companies in setting up recycling services and to publicize their services to residents and small businesses. A group of local recyclers, electronics resellers and nonprofit groups joined the effort. The group initiated the Computer Recovery Project and increased the number of locations where people could drop off their electronic equipment from 12 to 34 sites.
The Take it Back Network
In 2003, SWD decided to expand the list of products included in the program and adopted a new name, the Take it Back Network. The program was initially developed by Snohomish County, Washington (external link). Now, King County and Snohomish County have joined forces to provide a regional Take it Back Network.
Learn more about how electronics recyclers, retail stores, repair shops, thrift stores and nonprofits can join the Take it Back Network and provide recycling services to the public.