Clash on advance recycling fee charges e-cycling's bandwidth

Nov 24, 2004 | 10:07 AM | Paul Schaffer

The U.S. Commerce Department, hoping to get a handle on the electronic scrap issue, solicited comments with a tilt toward corporate players, but even that narrowed spectrum displayed sharply conflicting views.

Should a recycling surcharge be levied when someone buys new equipment ("advance recycling fee")?

"Not acceptable to HP," said David Isaacs, government relations specialist at Hewlett Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif. On the other hand, Timothy Mann of IBM corporate environmental affairs in Armonk, N.Y, said, "The advance recycling fee represents the most fair and equitable system for financing the collection, transportation and recycling of electronic products."

One element in that disagreement, of course, is that IBM has largely abandoned hardware manufacture. A fee keyed to equipment sales would largely spare IBM, while one keyed to the branding of discarded equipment would hit HP harder.

The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) conceded that it had suspended its effort to bridge that disagreement. "Due to the conflict within the industry on the correct approach to financing, EIA will not take a position on financing at this time," the Arlington, Va.,-based trade organization said.....

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