Waste Free Holidays Series: Holiday Recycling Tips 

Lane County Master Recyclers offer tips and information to help you recycle items typically generated at the holidays.


Contacts: Kelly Bell, Lane County Master Recycler Program, 541-682-2059 or



Electronic devices have become a very important aspect of holiday gift giving. Each new advance in technology, however, brings with it an ever increasing amount of hazardous electronic waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that in 2009, 2.37 million tons of electronics were discarded, but only 25 percent was recycled. Recycling and reusing electronics saves the energy used in mining and processing of raw materials, conserves natural resources, and reduces environmental degradation, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.


Lane County residents can donate unwanted electronics while helping to protect the environment, provide technical job skills and insure access to contemporary technological tools for others, regardless of income.

Electronics Refurbishing

Got a bunch of stuff like old computer parts, toasters, alarm clocks, and more taking up space at home or work? Why hang on to it? NextStep wants it! NextStep staff and trainees will refurbish it and safely remove your data and personal information before giving it to people who otherwise wouldn't have access to technology. If they can't fix it, they will recycle it for you, working with eSteward and R2 Certified Recyclers. NextStep’s Donation and Training Center is located near the corner of West 10th Ave and Garfield Street in Eugene. Electronics donations are accepted Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To view a partial list of the types of items that are accepted for refurbishing and recycling go to: http://nextsteprecycling.org/recycle/accepted or call 541-686-2366.

Styrofoam Recycling


If you are donating unwanted electronics because you have replaced them with newer versions, you probably have some big white blocks of Styrofoam. Lane County residents have a recycling solution for that too.

Clean, white Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Block Foam #6, used in the shipment of large equipment such as home electronics and household appliances, is accepted for recycling from residents of Lane County, free of charge, at the following St. Vincent de Paul locations:


·         705 Seneca Road in Eugene

·         201 Division Avenue in Eugene

·         4555 Main Street in Springfield


You can drop off donations of home goods at the same time but please bag donations separately from Styrofoam. Clean packing peanuts are also accepted for reuse, though please bag separately.


St. Vincent de Paul employees shred block Styrofoam and compress it into logs, making it more cost-effective to transport it to recyclers. A few uses for recycled Styrofoam are picture frame and crown molding manufacturing. Styrofoam peanuts are used to ship at Aurora Glass products or resold in St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift stores. What’s more - recycling with St Vincent de Paul creates local jobs!


If you have questions about Styrofoam recycling call 541-687-5820 and talk to the receptionist. Businesses wishing to bring large quantities of Styrofoam should contact Val Ko at the same number for business drop-off location and instructions. A small fee is charged to businesses.


Everything Else


For a list of tips on ways to reduce, reuse and recycle other items typically generated during the holiday season go to: www.lanecounty.org/lessisbest and click on the holiday wreath. Look for Reduce, Reuse & Recycle for the Holidays.

These tips provided by the Waste Free Holidays campaign in partnership with the Lane County Master Recycler Program, BRING, MECCA, NextStep and St. Vincent de Paul.

Waste Free Holidays Campaign

Each year at this time Master Recyclers invite community members to celebrate the season of giving by reducing, reusing, and recycling waste that is typically generated at the holidays. The Waste Free Holidays Campaign highlights several fun, low cost and simple waste prevention strategies families can use from Thanksgiving through the New Year - or any time of year! Visit www.lanecounty.org/lessisbest to view Waste Free Holiday tips and resources you can use to help create a truly enjoyable season. New items are added throughout the season so check back periodically for inspiration and announcements of waste free events in our area.

Lane County Master Recycler Program

Master Recyclers bridge the gap between awareness and action by motivating people to reduce solid waste at home, work, and play. Lane County Master Recycler Volunteers provide more than 2000 hours of waste prevention education to residents, businesses and events each year. Go to: www.lanecounty.org/masterrecyclers to learn more.