One country, one national e-program, one long wait

Jul 30, 2008 | 01:31 PM |

While most electronics recyclers agree, at least in principle, that a federal recycling program is preferable to the current patchwork of state-mandated and company-run programs, there are differing opinions on whether federal legislation will ever be enacted and, if so, how a federal program would work in practice.

"It is confusing the way it is now," Bob Erie, chief executive officer of E-World Recyclers LLC, Vista, Calif., said.

Amanda Hale, vice president of marketing at Sims Recycling Solutions, West Chicago, Ill., agrees. "A federal program is badly needed. I don't think that there is any other long-term, viable, sustainable choice. But while I'm hopeful that it will eventually happen, it will be a long road, a long struggle, before it does." In the meantime, the states and electronics manufacturers will continue "to do their own thing."

A waiting game might not be all that bad, according to David Kutoff, president and chief executive officer of Materials Processing Corp., Eagan, Minn. "Our main interest is that electronic equipment does not go to the landfill and that it is handled properly. We have no problem if states feel that they need to enact electronic recycling laws until the federal government gets its act together," he said. When electronic equipment is landfilled, "you throw out natural resources that you can't ever get back."....

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