Giving New Life to Old Electronics

This month we feature another Move Maker Resource Partner – EcoBinary

Chances are if your old computer monitor is beige in color and the screen is green, you probably aren’t using it anymore.  Those multiple cords once used to hook up the VCR to the TV, their usefulness long past, leave us with a tangled mess of black wires.  Even a laptop bought five years ago sometimes seems obsolete by year two. What do you do with old electronics, especially when you’re downsizing your home or organizing your office and don’t have room to store them anymore?

Don’t just throw them in the trash bin.  In Oregon, it is illegal to throw out old computers and monitors. But there can be a lot of life left in older electronics, and when properly refurbished, they can provide several more years of use while also making a real dent in energy savings overall.  According to the EPA, every one million laptops recycled saves the energy equivalent of one year of electricity usage in more than 3500 homes in the US.

EcoBinary is a Tualatin-based company owned by husband and wife team David and Frankie Bax, former IT professionals who have a mission to keep electronics out of the landfills and back into the hands of people who can use them. They run a retail store that showcases a wide variety of refurbished laptops, tablets, E-readers, computer parts, and many other electronic devices and accessories. 

Donations are accepted from the general public at their Tualatin location, and businesses with electronic waste (e-waste) can have it picked up on location for a fee.

Erasing your data by hitting the delete key isn’t secure, so EcoBinary thoroughly wipes any data from equipment that is repurposed.  Items picked up from businesses are securely transported back to the warehouse and all public donations are protected under lock and key throughout the sorting and refurbishing process.

The Bax’s community-minded approach extends to their hiring practices as well.  Working with the Department of Human Services, they have hired employees with autism who find satisfying jobs that provide valuable work experience.

EcoBinary is part of the Oregon E-Cycles program, a joint effort of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and electronics manufacturers, which facilitates the free disposal of electronic waste around the region.