Jul 18 - Study Looks Into National Standard for E-Waste Recycling

With new electronic devices coming into the market every year, and states having different e-waste recycling laws, U.S. electronic companies and stakeholders find themselves facing high compliance costs and other inefficiencies, a report released today by the U.S. Technology Administration reveals. Aliya Sternstein from FCW.com reports on the new report aimed to help policy makers create a universal e-waste recycling system.

This afternoon, the government released an electronic waste report with recommendations for launching and financing a nationwide system to recycle used electronics.

The U.S. Technology Administration wrote the document, titled “Recycling Technology Products: An Overview of E-Waste Policy Issues,” after a 2004 roundtable discussion with manufacturers, retailers, recyclers, environmental organizations and other stakeholders.

Because there is no single system, states are experimenting with several models such as an advanced recovery fee that the customer pays and producer responsibility, in which manufacturers are responsible for paying for e-recycling. Roundtable participants and respondents to a public Federal Register request agreed that a uniform national system is preferable to a mishmash of differing state systems.

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Full Text of Recycling Technology Products: An Overview of E-Waste Policy Issues

In 2005, California enacted the E-Waste Recycling Act that implemented an electronic waste recovery and recycling program modeled after the European Economic Union's Product Stewardship Initiative with the intent to provide cost-free recycling opportunities for consumers and to decrease the hazardous materials entering the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream. And as of February 8 of this year, all electronic waste (which include almost all consumer electronics) was determined toxic and are banned from disposal into landfills.

CAW is currently sponsoring AB 2202 (Saldaña), which will expand a provision SB 20/50 that requires manufacturers to phase out the use of hazardous materials in Covered Electronic Devices to virtually all consumer electronics.

What You Can Do:

  • TAKE ACTION to reduce toxic e-waste.
  • Send a letter in support of AB 2202 on behalf of your organization. 
  • LEARN MORE about CA's two newest e-waste regulations on cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling.