Jan 29 - National E-waste Export Bill Not Likely to Happen This Year

Bad news on the national front as the chair of Environment and the Economy subcommittee said a federal bill to limit ewaste exports will not be taken up in the current Congress.

Resource Recycling reports that Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) addressed the Institute of the Scrap Recycling Industries and stated the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA) was not on his subcommittee's agenda, a bad sign that the legislation will not make its way to a vote.

The measure would have prohibited U.S. recyclers from dumping electronic waste on developing countries and promote recycling jobs at home. The Congressman cited export statistics have not shown such legislation to be necessary even though a study has shown the bill could create 42,000 jobs in America.

However, a large coalition of recyclers with over 100 companies called CAER - the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling, is in support of RERA and has responded to Shimkus' recent statements with "On behalf of our members across the country, we are simply asking for a Congressional hearing where we can have a balanced and thoughtful exchange on the merits of RERA."

While California’s Electronic Waste Recovery Act leads the nation in curbing the illegal disposal and export of e-waste by providing incentives to recycle covered electronics in-state, the 24 other states with e-waste laws cannot restrict export so the only way to ensure that this practice is curtailed is through federal legislation.

Legislation that would further expand the market for recycled e-waste in California is currently in Senate Appropriation. AB 1022 (Eggman) provides incentives for recyclers to remove the lead from CRT glass, and also provides payments to manufacturers who use the cleaned CRT glass in their products instead of other materials.