Yesterday, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors gave initial approval to Santa Cruz County’s new e-Waste ordinance that would require local collectors of electronic waste to use only recyclers certified by the Basel Action Network as eStewards. E-Stewards recyclers are explicitly forbidden to export e-waste to developing nations.
California currently has a robust e-waste program for electronic devices with video display (such as televisions and monitors). However, there are no recycling requirements or export restrictions for devices outside the scope of the programs.
According to county resource planner Tim Goncharoff :
"We're used to thinking of electronics as a stand-alone product but that's not the case anymore. They're in shoes, they're in greeting cards, they're in toys. Tomorrow they'll be in things we never thought of. We're trying to get a handle on this before it gets completely out of control."
The ordinance will come back before the Board for a public hearing and final approval on March 20.
For a statewide policy, CAW is the sponsor of AB 960 (Lowenthal), which requires e-waste recyclers to conform their exporting practices in order to receive payments. AB 960 is a 2-year bill, currently in Senate Fiscal committee.