Under Calif.'s revised e-cycling rules, it matters who you are

Nov 11, 2005 | 04:10 AM | Paul Schaffer

Trying to create an electronics recycling structure state-by-state requires regulators to walk a delicate balancing act between the carrot and the stick.

The stick is needed to beat off imposters from elsewhere who might sponge off a state's funding system.

A miscreant might collect discarded electronics, maybe even get paid for it, sell off what's valuable, then dump the rest in California or Maine.

The California program, launched at the beginning of this year, has stiff enough rules that some of the grassroots collectors pleaded hardship.

That wish is due to be granted at the mid-November meeting of the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

The exceptions being inserted aren't intended to allow the processing of out-of-state goods. The idea is merely to recognize that some items of uncertain pedigree will get sucked into the system.

Even creating the limited loopholes proved tricky. An early draft of the revision said that the companies that break up the equipment should be required to guarantee that 95 percent of their material was clearly documented as local. That percentage disappeared in the subsequent give-and-take.....

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