Jan 8 - E-waste Update

AB 1535 (Huffman)

AB 1535 was legislation sponsored by CAW that would have expanded California's e-waste recycling law to include computers (CPU's). That bill passed two assembly policy committees last spring, but was ultimately held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Some of you may have seen that AB 1535 was amended yesterday to strike the expansion provisions and instead simply shift the fee payment responsibility from 'retailers' to 'manufacturers.' This was not intended as a substantive change on the part of the author, but merely a strategy agreed to with the Appropriations committee to allow the bill to be released from the committee. Because AB 1535 was introduced last year, it would have to be reheard in two policy committees and pass the Assembly by the end of January to remain in play.

Assembly Member Huffman announced today that he will instead be introducing language in a new bill, free of short deadline pressure. His objectives for that proposal remains the same, expansion of the successful program to include additional devices banned from disposal. Whether that includes or is limited to computers remains to be determined. Assembly Member Huffman has also expressed openness to proposals to modify the existing program to provide a pathway for manufacturers to demonstrate recycling success through direct 'producer responsibility'and potentially 'earn' a reduction or elimination of point of sale fees in return. Obviously, this would need to be done in a way that does not jeopardize the existing successful e-waste collection and recycling infrastructure.

For the latest updates on Assembly Member Huffman's legislative effort, check CAW's Legislative Page.

CIWMB Projecting Need for E-waste Funding Adjustment

On Tuesday, January 15, the California Integrated Waste Management Board will have a discussion item on the state of the state of program funding. Record growth in e-waste recycling in 2007 has the board projecting that program expenditures (recycling payments), will likely exceed program revenue. Product fees have remained unchanged since the program was implemented ($6, $8 and $10 per device). The CIWMB has the authority to adjust the fee right now, without further legislation.

In addition to continued growth in recycling, the CIWMB is projecting that next year's transition to digital TV may result in as many as 5 million analog TV sets becoming obsolete, with the potential of an additional $120 million drag on the fund.

The CIWMB Agenda item can be found at: http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/agendas/mtgdocs/2008/01/00022871.doc