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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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2017 Spring Event | E-waste FAQ's | Related Links | Past Events | Organize Your Own Event | Templates to Download | 2009 White House Award

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MonDak area 'E-rase your E-waste' event is May 5-6 in Sidney

E-rase your E-waste organizers invite you to bring your damaged and outdated electronic equipment to the group’s annual spring recycling event Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, in Sidney. Now in its 13th year, E-rase your E-waste has recycled more than 427,000 pounds (213 TONS!) of electronic waste and organizers expect to easily exceed a half million pounds during 2017.

Yellowstone E-waste Solutions of Billings is again the e-cycler for the event and provides their services for FREE, with a couple of exceptions. Participants wanting their hard drives removed from their computers or needing documentation certifying that their hard drive has been destroyed will need to pay a small fee of $5 for each of those services.

Collection Details
The 2017 spring E-rase your E-waste collection will be held as usual at the Richland County Shop at 2140 W. Holly in Sidney, next to the Fairgrounds. Signs will be posted. Times for the event are Friday 3-7 pm and Saturday 9 am - 3 pm. Please note, the county shop is available for drop offs during event times ONLY, when Yellowstone E-waste Solutions employees and local volunteers will be available to help with loading and unloading.

Note, too, that anyone in the MonDak region, or even outside it, is welcome to bring their electronic items to the Sidney E-rase your E-waste collection site during regular event hours. You do not need to be a Sidney or a Richland County resident to participate.

What Can I Bring? Not These....
Organizers noted that there are a few new item limitations this year. NO cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors or televisions of any kind are being accepted, only flat screen models, and NO projection units or consoles. Other limitations include the standards:  NO consumer white goods, vacuums, light bulbs, CFLs, mercury thermometers, alkaline batteries (rechargeable are okay), or items containing refrigerants (including dehumidifiers), oils, or acids. In addition, this year the following items will not be accepted although they have been in the past: NO alarm clocks/radios, small kitchen or bathroom appliances, microwave ovens, smoke detectors, or vacuum cleaners.

But These You Can!
However, nearly all electronic devices are accepted, including computers and their components (printers, scanners, keyboards, flat screen monitors, etc.), cell phones, cameras, VCRs, cable TV boxes, fax machines, copiers, stereos, game boys and specialized electronic equipment used in businesses such as hospitals, law enforcement, manufacturing and even the oil field.

If you are unsure whether your item qualifies you can check out the handy “What to Bring...” handout posted on the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab’s e-waste website at or call Jackie Couture at 406-433-9422.  In addition, a handy “Items List” recycling form is also available at the website to further speed processing time for participants bringing both large and small amounts.

Recycling Large Amounts
Local businesses, agencies and organizations with large amounts to e-cycle are asked to make an appointment to drop off their items by calling Jackie Couture at 406-433-9422. Please leave a message.

Where possible larger recyclers are also encouraged to palletize their own items (call Jackie for instructions), or send extra staff to help get it done. Details on acceptable items can be found in the “What to Bring...” handout posted to the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab’s e-waste website noted above.

2017 Fall Collection Also Planned
For those unable to participate in this weekend’s events, E-rase your E-waste is also hosting a second collection in Sidney this fall on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9. Please consider joining us then.  

The “E-rase your E-waste” effort in Sidney is coordinated by members of the Richland County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and volunteers with other community organizations including the RSVP program. The Richland County Public Works Department also makes their facilities freely available for the collection event.

2016 Fall Event Brings in another 22,000+ pounds of e-waste

The E-rase your E-waste committee would like to thank everyone who participated in our 2016 E-rase your E-waste events in Sidney and Fairview, MT this past spring and fall. The official results are now in for our fall event held Sept. 9-10 in Sidney where MonDak businesses and residents recycled another 22,471 pounds of electronic waste.

That brings the total for both our 2016 spring and fall events to 45,754 pounds - the 7th time in 12 years we’ve collected more than 44,000 pounds of e-waste in a single year! It also brings our grand total to more than 427,000 pounds of e-waste recycled since this program’s inception 12 years ago. That’s 213 TONS of e-waste that DIDN’T go into our local landfill!

Our thanks to everyone who makes this event possible every year: our participants, our volunteers, our local media, both print and broadcast, our sponsors and our e-cycler, Yellowstone Solutions Inc. of Billings, whose participation enables us to support a Montana business and still provide free e-cycling for our community.

The organizing committee also wants to extend a hearty thank you to the Richland County Solid Waste and Disaster and Emergency Services departments for providing the space along with logistical and financial support for our 2016 events, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for providing promotional support. It’s a group effort every year, and we really appreciate everyone’s commitment to keeping our community healthy and safe through this project.

Thanks, again, to everyone for making 2016 another successful year for e-cycling in the MonDak! Now on to our next milestone – reaching half a million pounds of e-waste recycled by our community by 2018.

See you next year!



E-waste: Frequently Asked Questions


What is e-waste?


E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their "useful life."  Computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, mobile phones and fax machines are common electronic products and make up one of the fastest growing segments of our nation's waste stream.  The National Safety Council projects that nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in the next five years and mobile phones are being discarded at a rate of 130 million per year. 



What hazards are found in e-waste?


Computer monitors and older TV picture tubes contain an average of four pounds of lead and require special handling at the end of their lives.  In addition to lead, electronics can contain chromium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, nickel, zinc, and brominated flame retardants, presenting problems if not disposed of properly.  Extending the life of your electronics or donating your most up-to-date and working electronics can save you money and save valuable resources.  Safely recycling outdated electronics can promote the safe management of hazardous components and supports the recovery and reuse of valuable materials.



Benefits of e-cycling for humans and the environment


Using proper disposal methods helps to keep harmful metals such as the lead found in computer montiors out of landfills, which is also resulting in the protection of nearby ground water supplies from potential metal contamination from landfill leachate.  Electronic products that can be reused, result in less energy being required to produce new ones and this saves energy and reduces pollution.  Sometimes recycling computers can create a supply of parts and materials that can be used on the manufacture of new products or to refurbish older ones.


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Related Links

Additional Information:

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Past Years Events:

orange dot 2015 E-rase Your E-waste Event

orange dot 2014 E-rase Your E-waste Event

orange dot 2013 E-rase Your E-waste Event

orange dot 2012 E-rase Your E-waste Event

orange dot 2011 E-rase Your E-waste Event

orange dot 2010 E-rase Your E-waste Event

orange dot 2009 E-rase Your E-waste Event

orange dot 2008 E-rase your E-waste Event! 

        •-• E-waste recycling event again exceeds previous years totals

        •-• Dates Set for 2008 E-rase Your E-waste

        •-• Alternative Collection Days for 2008

orange dot 2007 E-rase your E-waste Event! 

orange dot 2006 E-rase your E-waste Event! 


orange dot Results from previous community-wide e-cycling events

        •-• Final Report of Sidney, MT 2009/2010 events (not yet available)

        •-• Final Report of Sidney, MT 2008 event (PDF; 1066 KB)

        •-• Final Report of Sidney, MT 2007 event (PDF; 1230 KB)

        •-• Final Report of Sidney, MT 2006 event (PDF; 1297 KB)

        •-• Final Report of Sidney, MT 2005 event (PDF; 1511 KB)


orange dot  Organize your own "e-rase your e-waste" event! 
        •-• Helpful templates, info to download 

        •-• Tips for setting up your own e-cycling event (PDF; 90 KB)


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Organize your own community-wide e-cycling event!


Organize your own event! 

This web page provides planning and other information to anyone interested in recycling electronic waste in their local community. It describes how a small town in eastern Montana developed and hosted its own "E-rase your E-waste" event, and how you can do it, too. It even provides some ready-made promotional materials for general use, as well as samples of letters, brochures and posters from the original event to spur your own ideas (see below).


Although small in scope - Sidney, MT has a population of only about 5,000 people, with its home county just topping 10,000 - the project had a big impact after publicity surrounding it attracted the interest of state and even regional waste/recycling officials. As an example, the Sidney "E-rase your E-waste" effort prompted the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to streamline its permitting procedure for community-sponsored e-cycling events, and regional EPA officials are sharing details of the project with other communities across their region.


The June 2005 e-cycling effort in Sidney was initiated by Jackie Couture, a Health and Safety Officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service laboratory (USDA-ARS) in Sidney. Couture, concerned about the hazards of dumping outdated lab and computer equipment in local landfills, approached the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) of which she is the chairman and proposed the idea to conduct a community wide "e-cycling" event in Sidney. LEPC representatives embraced the idea and a short time later local emergency and volunteer agencies (CERT and RSVP) joined in support of the effort.


The core group in place, Couture and other representatives from the USDA-ARS laboratory in Sidney identified an e-cycler for the event and developed the "E-rase your E-waste" slogan and logo to promote it. As word of the effort got out, organizers discovered they had hit a nerve. Phone calls and requests for more information from other communities and offers of assistance were received from the general public and from state and other government and private solid waste officials.


As a result of that interest, organizers decided to record the steps they took to set up the event and make that information, along with samples and templates of its promotional materials, available to anyone and everyone interested in establishing their own e-cycling project. That information - and more - is found below.


We'd also like to hear from you if you've hosted a successful e-cycling effort in your area and have tips for others.  We'll share them here as well.  Happy E-cycling!


E-mail us your


Or send information to:


P.O. Box 463

Sidney, MT  59270

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Templates to Download

The artwork for these materials were developed by USDA-ARS in Sidney, MT, to promote its first e-cycling event in Spring 2005. To encourage others to e-cycle, they are made freely available to individuals and organizations interested in adapting them for their own events. For more information, contact Jackie Couture at


Tips for setting up your own e-cycling event (PDF; 90 KB)


Sample materials from the Sidney, MT event:

     Brochure 2011 - 14.0" x 8.5"    (PDF; 340 KB)

     Brochure 2010 - 14.0" x 8.5"    (PDF; 266 KB)
     Handout 2010 -  8.5" x 11.0"    (PDF; 266 KB)

     Collection Sheet 2010 - 8.5" x 11.0"    (PDF; 50 KB)

     Brochure 2009 - 14.0" x 8.5"    (PDF; 387 KB)

     Brochure 2008 - 14.25" x 8.75" (PDF; 372 KB)

     Brochure 2007 - 11x8? tri-fold (PDF; 271 KB)

     Brochure 2006 (PDF; 316 KB)


     Buttons - 2? in.  (PDF; 346 KB)

     2011 Poster - 11x17 portrait  (PDF; 177 KB)

     2010 Poster - 11x17 portrait  (PDF; 114 KB)

     2009 Poster - 11x17 portrait  (PDF; 177 KB)

     2007 Poster - 11x17 portrait  (PDF; 315 KB)

     2006 Poster - 11x17 portrait  (PDF; 207 KB)

     2005 Poster - 11x17 landscape  (PDF; 224 KB)

     2005 Poster - 11x17 portrait  (PDF; 126 KB)


     Letter to Businesses (PDF; 17 KB)

     3-panel table-top display - 45x20  (PDF; 298 KB)

     Reminder postcard (PDF; 582 KB)

     Press releases (PDF; 499 KB)


     Final Report of Sidney, MT 2008 event (PDF; 1066 KB)

     Final Report of Sidney, MT 2007 event (PDF; 1230 KB)

     Final Report of Sidney, MT 2006 event (PDF; 1297 KB)

     Final Report of Sidney, MT 2005 event (PDF; 1511 KB)


Poster Example

"E-rase your E-waste" logos:

     Grayscale (JPG; 259 KB)

     Color (JPG; 355 KB)

     Color (WMF; 503 KB)

     Color Variation (WMF; 503 KB)



     Brochure (DOT; 643 KB)

     Poster - 8? x 11 (DOT; 229 KB)

     Poster - 11 x 17 (DOT; 328 KB)

     Certificate - 8? x 11 (DOC; 480 KB)

     Buttons (2? IN.) 8? x 11 (PDF; 345 KB)


Blank Brochure


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"E-rase Your E-waste" wins 2009 White House "Closing the Circle" award

Richland County's grass-roots "E-rase your E-waste" community electronics recycling program has earned an honorable mention in the 2009 White House Closing the Circle Awards program for electronic stewardship. The national CTC awards were announced this past month at an official ceremony at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD.

"We're very pleased and excited about this award," Jackie Couture, co-chair of the local "E-rase your E-waste" committee and Safety Officer with the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, said. "In particular we're pleased that this award specifically recognizes the contributions of all our community partners rather than just one agency or individual." While the award nomination had to come from a federal facility - in this case, the Sidney Agricultural Research Service lab - the award itself puts a special emphasis on federal entities partnering with community groups and individuals, hence the "closing the circle" name, Couture explained.

Participants in the local "E-rase your E-waste" committee, originally formed in 2005 from interested members of the county's Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), include Couture and Co-chair Cindy Eleson (Richland Opportunities Inc.); Butch Renders (Richland County Disaster and Emergency Services); Brian Fay (Sidney Health Center); Kim Youngquist (Richland County Health Department); Rita Jacobson (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program); Zach Yockim (Richland County IT Department); Diane Kalvoda (Lower Yellowstone REA); Julie Brodhead (Richland County Health Department); Russ Houtari (Richland County Public Works); Kelly Logan (County Sanitarian) and Beth Redlin (Sidney ARS). In addition, Midrivers Communication; Sidney city and Richland County officials, and the county's Solid Waste Committee have also worked with the program to help advertise and offset costs for participants, as well as providing additional drop off times and places.

"It's definitely a group effort," Renders noted. "And the local participation has been terrific. I'm amazed at how our community has supported this program by doubling the amount kept out of the landfill every year!"

The national Closing the Circle (CTC) awards are presented annually by the White House Office of the Federal Environmental Executive to recognize outstanding achievements of Federal facilities and their community partners in promoting environmental stewardship. According to a press release announcing the 2009 award winners, nationwide, there were 200+ nominations received in seven different categories (mostly from larger and/or regional Federal offices), with only 15 CTC winners and 13 honorable mentions awarded. Each category included a possible civilian and military award, and there was no obligation to give an award if there were no worthy candidates.

"Looking at the size of some of the entities winning CTC awards, I'm amazed and thrilled that they chose to recognize our efforts at that level," Couture said.

According to committee members, the unique rural e-waste collection program began here in 2005, when the E-rase your E-waste team initiated only the second ever electronics recycling event held in the state of Montana, and the first in a remote rural area. Since then the program has recycled more than 41 tons of e-waste in annual collection events, 23 tons of it collected just this past year (despite local residents having to pay for the privilege). The inaugural event was a collaborative effort by ARS representatives and community members (drawn from the county's Local Emergency Preparedness Committee) that continues today. Through its efforts, this federal-local partnership has created a model program for electronics recycling in rural areas, which it readily shares with other communities throughout the country via a website it established that includes free templates of the program logo, posters, brochures, tip sheets and more for others to use in their setting up their own collection events. Communities and schools in 7 states, not all of them rural, are known to have taken up the challenge, adapting materials from the website to set up events in their areas. The program's colorful logo was also adopted by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for its pilot community e-waste collection efforts in Montana in 2006. E-rase your E-waste team members have also been invited to speak about the program at a number of local, state and regional recycling and solid waste association meetings.


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Last Modified: 4/26/2017
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