E-Waste

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Jun 17 - TX - Texas Adds Television to E-waste Recycling Law

Texas, which has the dubious distinction of the lowest performing e-waste law in the nation, just added Television to their e-waste recycling program.  This is a companion bill to the Computer Takeback Law passed in 2007, and will greatly help increase e-waste collection and recycling.

Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 329 into law, a measure  that will have TV manufacturers take back and recycle obsolete televisions, keeping toxic materials such as lead and mercury out of Texas landfills and water sources.

SB 329, sponsored by Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and Representative Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), requires manufacturers selling TVs in Texas to offer free, convenient recycling programs for Texas residents. Industry support was a key factor in the bill’s passage. The Consumer Electronics Association, which represents more than 2,000 electronics companies, supported the bill—marking the first time this trade association has supported any state producer takeback recycling law. Other business groups, local governments, recycling businesses and faith-based organizations also backed the bill.

Televisions contain toxic components, if not managed properly - a CRT device contains several pounds of lead and most new flat-screen TVs contain mercury bulbs. Typically, less than one in every five old TVs is recycled. Many communities across Texas routinely must clean up illegal dumps of old electronics.

According to Fayette County Judge Ed Janecka,

Jun 1 - Improper Recycling of E-waste is a Health Threat

Chinese researchers took a look at the health impacts of e-waste recycling in China, and found that the recycling process poses a health threat to the workers.

20 million tons of e-waste is produced annually, with much of it being exported to China. The researchers took samples of the air from Taizhou in Zhejiang province where more than 60,000 people are involved in dismantling more than 2 million tons of e-waste to recycle metals each year.

The study, published in the Journal Environmental Research Letters, found that the e-waste recycling process releases a number of pollutants, such as heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants, which are inhaled and can accumulate in the body. Testing revealed increased inflammatory response and oxidative stress in lung cells, which could lead to cancer or cardiovascular diseases.

According to the co-author of the study, Dr. Fangxing Yang of Zheijiang University,

"From these results it is clear that the 'open' dismantlement of e-waste must be forbidden with more primitive techniques improved. As the results show potential adverse effects on human health, workers at these sites must also be given proper protection."


Learn more about C4R’s efforts to support e-waste laws. Please support our work on e-waste and make a tax-deductible donation today.

May 31 – UN: Increased Recycling Essential to Advance “Green Technology”

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report last Thursday warning of barriers to developing newer, greener technology if recycling rates of rare metals don’t increase. These metals can be extracted without mining by recycling various electronic products and removing the metals.

According to an article by Fast Company magazine, the UNEP report stated, “recycling one million cell phones could recover 50 pounds of gold, 550 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and 20,000 pounds of copper.”

The study focused on global recycling rates, finding recycling levels of lead to be high, primarily from batteries, with gold and silver close behind, but with less than 15% attributable to electronics. However, 34 of the 60 rare metals identified in the study have recycling rates less than 1%.

The bottom line? Without more recycling, the materials needed for technology such as solar panels, hybrid cars, and LEDs may be in short supply.

To read the full article, click here.



Recycling e-waste is a core issue for C4R, which is why we are current supporting bills aimed at establishing or expanding current e-waste bills. Please support our work on e-waste and make a tax-deductible donation today.

May 27 - TX - TV Recycling Bill to the Governor's Desk

Texas' original electronics recycling law covered desktops, laptops and computer monitors, but omitted televisions. SB 329(Watson) which has passed both the House and Senate has made its way to Governor Perry's desk, who is expected to sign the TV Recycling Bill.

The measure would add televisions to Texas' state electronics recycling program, such as plasma, projection or flat panel devices with screens larger than nine inches. This producer takeback bill requires TV manufacturers selling into the state  to develop a plan to collect covered items equal to the weight of new products sold. Manufacturers can either participate in the state collection plan, or form their own.

If signed, the law will be implemented by May 1, 2012.

Send a Letter to the Governor in support of this bill.


Learn more about C4R’s efforts to support e-waste laws. Please support our work on e-waste and make a tax-deductible donation today.

Apr 13 - WI - E-Cycle Results for 2010

Results are now out for the first program year of Wisconsin's E-waste law.  More than 24 million pounds were collected in 2010, which translates to 4.2 pounds per capita. Wisconsin's electronic recycling law took effect January 1, 2010.

It is anticipated that in program year 2, total collection will be 29 million pounds.  The E-waste law has helped increased consumer access to electronic recycling, with more than 350 collection sites now available in Wisconsin. The E-waste law has also spurred economic activity, with two new electronics recycling facilities recently opened and additional jobs created from the collection and recycling of e-waste. Local governments were able to reduced costs compared with before the program began. Two local authorities have stated they saved over $100,000 per year.  

Among the devices covered by the law are computers, printers, video displays, computer peripherals, fax machines, DVD players, and cell phones.

Read the full report.

 

Utah E-waste Law

Utah has become the 25th state to establish an electronics recycling program. SB 184 (Senator Urquhart) was signed into law on March 22, 2011 by Governor Herbert.

Details
Manufacturers of covered electronic devices are required to meet reporting requirements (including recycling program) set by Utah's Department of Environmental Quality and provide public education on collection, reuse and recycling options for consumers.

Starting July 1 of this year, manufacturers must submit a report on eligible third-party collection and recycling programs. Manufacturers will have to be in full compliance with the reporting and education requirements by January 1, 2012.

Disposal Ban
There is no disposal ban

Covered Devices:  computers (including laptop, desktop and tablet computer) and computer peripheral (including printers), television and television peripheral
View a copy of the final bill language.
Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Apr 8 -UT - Utah Adopts E-waste Recycling

Utah has become the 25th state to establish an electronics recycling program. SB 184 (Senator Urquhart) was signed into law on March 22nd. Manufacturers of covered electronic devices are required to meet reporting requirements set by Utah's department of environmental quality and provide public education on collection, reuse and recycling options for consumers. Items covered under this law includes desktop, laptop and tablet computers, peripherals, monitors, televisions, TV set-top boxes (VCRs, DVD players, cable boxes, etc.) and printers.

Starting July 1 of this year, manufacturers must submit a report on eligible third-party collection and recycling programs. Manufacturers will have to be in full compliance with the reporting and education requirements by January 1, 2012.

View the language

Apr 1 - NY - New York E-Waste Recycling Law Goes Into Effect Today

Starting today, New Yorkers can recycle their electronics for free.  Manufacturers across the state must offer free collection sites allowing consumers to drop off their items for proper disposal. These devices include televisions, computer monitors, computers, computer peripherals, printers, and fax machines.

The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, which was signed into law last May, require manufacturers to establish a convenient program for collecting electronics.

According to Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee:

This new program will prevent millions of pounds of electronic waste from entering New York's limited landfills. The rapid evolution of technology has meant these products seemingly become obsolete almost as soon as they are manufactured and because they contain toxic substances like lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium they can damage our food and water supplies.

Read the press release.

Mar 1 - AZ, MS, NJ, TX, OR - States Introduces E-waste Bills

The following states have introduced an Electronic Waste bill:

Arizona - Would establish take-back program for desktop, notepad, laptop computers, computer monitors as well as certain televisions generated by consumers and commercial businesses. this is a pilot program with a sunset date of July 1, 2021.

Mississippi - SB 2660 already died in committee. It would have directed state agencies to prepare and implement an agency-wide policy for the management and sale of agency surplus computer equipment and electronics to agency employees, or sale or donation to public schools and charities.

New Jersey:   A2625  would expand New Jersey's E-waste law to include digital audio players and certain printers.This bill was introduced last May.

Oregon: SB 82 allows a manufacture program of state contractor program, which collects, transport and recycles covered electronic devices to claim recycling credits

Texas: Has two bills, both of which require manufacturers take-back for TVs, HB 88 and SB 329.

Feb 16- EcoATM Gets Grant to Set Up Electronic Recycling Kiosks

Kiosk manufacturer, Coinstar, has backed a new eco-friendly venture called ecoATM which provides the convenience and incentives necessary to increase e-waste recycling. In the first round of funding, ecoATM has already raised 14.4 million dollars, making it very likely that the handful of kiosks that exist today will expand in the near future.

Such innovations as these kiosks have the potential to help keep toxic substances out of landfills and natural environments. The ecoATMs collect a variety of small consumer electronics including, but not limited to: cell phones, mp3 players, cameras, and their respective batteries and chargers. After plugging into the device, the ecoATM scans the gadget for malfunctions and does a visual inspection to determine a price for the product. The consumer can them cash out, or donate the money to charity, and the product is sent to a recycling center.

Currently, only a few locations exist, many which reside is Southern California. A complete list of their locations can be found on their website.

To watch how ecoATMs work, view the video here.

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