Will one nation, indivisible ever come to e-cycling regs?

Dec 01, 2008 | 05:18 AM |

To speak of organizing electronics recycling is, perhaps, an oxymoron. At least 17 states have passed e-cycling laws, starting with California in 2003. Many of them require the manufacturers of computers and televisions to play a financial role, but each state does it differently. And Texas doesn't mention televisions.

The proliferation got worse earlier this year, when New York City got into the act. The city council passed an ordinance that included a formula for imposing recycling quotas on individual manufacturers, with the quotas moving higher over time. Companies sighed with relief when Mayor Michael Bloomberg forced deletion of that provision from the broader measure on manufacturer responsibility.

But wait—there's a sequel .?.?. as there usually is in electronics recycling. The city's Department of Sanitation, in charge of the program, proposed that discarded electronics gear weighing 10 pounds or more should be picked up, at the manufacturers expense, if the customer requests it. Not a good idea, the equipment makers said. And so another wrangle began over how the program will be handled.

There's still some possibility of a federal law on the subject, according to Steve Skurnac, president of Sims Recycling Solutions' North American unit, but he told AMM that he wouldn't expect anything to happen until late 2009. Skurnac's company is the largest U.S. electronics recycler in terms of material processed by its own equipment.....

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