The International Data Corporation (IDC) conducted a survey that found the U.S. electronics recycling industry is worth about $5 billion dollars, employing more than 30,000 workers and recycling about 3.5 million tons of e-waste last year.
"This survey shows a booming electronics recycling industry and prescribes a clear path for even more growth," said ISRI President Robin Wiener. "Electronics recyclers are creating American jobs, adopting an industry standard that will help sustain growth and are recycling electronics here at home."
The survey also found that while American households account for most of the new electronics market, they only contribute about 26% to the electronics recycling market.
While there are currently 25 states with an e-waste law but the federal government needs to restrict the export of e-waste and remaining states to pass e-waste recycling laws.
Wiener said, "Increasing household recycling of electronics is a clear challenge that must be addressed by incentivizing the collection of used household equipment. Tapping into this market will create even more jobs here at home and significantly reduce the amount of electronics that end up in a landfill."
In California, about 193 million pounds of covered e-waste was recycled last year. These are devices with a screen such as televisions and computer monitors. Californians Against Waste continues to work on increasing the number of non-covered e-waste (devices without a screen) recycled in California with AB 960 by Assembly Member Lowenthal. The measure would require recyclers to conform their export practices as a condition of receiving existing recycling payments under California’s e-waste law, has been held in Senate Appropriations committee, and is now a 2-year bill.
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