E-Waste

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Oct 19 - ETBC Releases Green Electronics Recycling Report Card

Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC) released a electronics recycling report card that grades take back and recycling programs offered by computer, TV, printer and game console companies. Grades are out of a total of 100 possible points, and grading was done "on a curve."  The grading system scores manufacturers on the volume of material collected, the scale and consumer-friendliness of their recycling infrastructure, their promotion of reuse, transparency and whether collected materials are processed responsibly.

The printer industry generally scored the lowest marks – all failed except for HP - as well as a few TV manufacturers like Funai (5th largest U.S. seller), RCA, and Philips.

According to Barbara Kyle, National Coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition:

If you don’t offer physical collection sites or events, you are not serious about your takeback program.  With so many cheap consumer printers being practically disposable these days, the printer companies should be doing a lot more to make sure they get their old equipment back. Most of the printer companies simply offer mailback recycling programs, but statistics show that people won’t mail back larger products like printers.

Link to Electronics Recycling Report Card

Explanation of grading
 

Oct 18 - PA - E-Waste Bill Passes out of the Senate

The Pennsylvania Senate has passed House Bill 708 with a 48-to-1 count.

HB 708 by Representative Ross establishes an extended producer responsibility-based take-back program for the recovery of desktop and notebook computers, computer monitors and televisions generated by residents.

Manufacturers of covered products must register with the state and create a take-back program, either independently or jointly with other producers. Television manufacturers would be responsible for recovering their market share portion, while computer manufacturers would be responsible for their return share portion. All fees generated through this program will be deposited into the state's Recycling Fund and used to fund program activities and outreach, as well as other Commonwealth-based recycling programs.

If enacted, the program would commence a full calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

The bill is now back in the house for a concurrence vote.

Oct 14 - WV - DEP Approves 24 Applicants for CED Recycling Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Covered Electronic Devices (CED) Recycling Grant Program will be awarding 24 applicants with grant amounts totaling $233,587 for conducting electronic collection events and support ongoing collection programs.

Established in 2008 under the DEP’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP), West Virginia's CED Program requires that manufacturers pay registration fees into a state fund, which is used to reimburse counties and municipalities for recycling programs and administrative cost.

See the grantees.

Learn more about West Virginia's E-waste program

Sep 30 - E-Waste Export Bill Introduced in Congress

U.S. Representatives Gene Green and Mike Thompson introduced H.R. 6252, the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act of 2010 to promote electronics recycling and stop global dumping of e-waste generated in the U.S.

E-waste can contain toxic chemicals which present environmental and health concerns when not properly handled. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that many of the developing nations who receive e-waste from the United States do not have the capacity or facilities to safely recycle and dispose of these used electronics.

The measure would add a new section to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act laws establishing a new category of "restricted electronic waste" which cannot be exported from the U.S. to developing nations.
This bill will allow some exceptions for exports of tested and working parts and products.

View the press release

Sep 23 - PA - Pennsylvania E-waste bill Passes Senate Committee

HB 708, is a measure that would establish an extended producer responsibility-based recovery/take-back program for the following consumer electronic devices: computer monitors, desktop and notebook computers and televisions. It has been amended and passed the Senate committee on 9/22.

Learn more.

Aug 17 - EPA Names E-Waste as Priority International Issue

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has announced the agency’s international priorities at a meeting of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation she is attending in Guanajuato, Mexico.

"Cleaning up e-waste" is listed as one of the agency's six top international priorities.

View the Press Release.

Aug 12 - GAO e-Waste Report Misses the Mark on Basel Convention

The Government Accountability Office released a new report on ewaste, "Electronic Waste: Considerations for Promoting Environmentally Sound Reuse and Recycling"  that addressed the management and trade of hazardous electronic wastes in the United States.

The report recommends the EPA to deal with the massive flows of U.S. e-waste. However, according to the Electronic TakeBack Coalition, it misses the mark in recommending that the EPA put forward legislation that would ratify the Basel Convention, without first prohibiting the export of hazardous electronic waste to developing countries.

Read more

Jul 29 - New U.S. Law Requires Electronics Makers to Disclose Conflict Mineral Use

A new U.S. law aims to ensure that electronic purchases are not helping fund wars in Congo and neighboring countries.

The provision -- tucked in the financial reform bill passed this week -- requires publicly-traded and electronic companies to reveal whether or not they use "conflict-free" minerals. Even though that means they can still use the materials, they have to be forthright in stating such, which will put a serious damper on any new product releases that have to state that they are using conflict minerals.

Companies have to certify where their minerals come from, what measures were put in place to ensure the source is not a conflict zone, and post the information on their company websites.

Read an article.

While this new law will help inform consumers on where their electronics are made from, the best way to reduce the use of conflict material is to prolong the life of your electronics, and to recycle or donate it once you no longer use it.

Jul 20 - NC - North Carolina E-waste Law Amended

  S 887 (.pdf), signed by the governor, replaces the e-waste program passed in 2007, gives manufacturers an additional month, until August 1, to register.  In addition, computer manufacturers must file a recovery plan within 90 days of registration and submit a fee based on 3 varying levels of service provided in the plan.  TV manufacturers do not file a plan, but must collect their brands and are responsible for collecting their market share percentage after 7/1/12. 

Jul 19 - RI - Rhode Island Amended Existing E-waste Law

H 7716 (.pdf), a bill has been passed and become effective without the Governor’s signature on June 22, 2010, amends the existing e-waste law. Some of the changes include pushing back the registration date, additional definitions and the corporation must fund an audit of the program each year.

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