Pace of e-scrap legislation slows in 2013

Pace of e-scrap legislation slows in 2013

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 10, 2013

With all state legislatures now either adjourned or in recess, it's a fitting time to take a look at the progress of recycling legislation in 2013, and how lawmakers are addressing the increasingly important issue of end-of-life electronics.

E-scrap related bills made up slightly more than 10 percent of all recycling and solid waste bills introduced in 2013, but depending on how you parse it, it could be argued 2013 marks the first year since 2003 no state passed a major e-scrap law. Colorado passed a bill that included a landfill ban for electronics and mandated electronics recycling for state agencies in 2012. From 2003 to 2011, at least one state per year passed comprehensive electronics recycling legislation. A total of 25 states (not including Colorado) have statewide e-scrap programs.

Among the e-scrap bills that did pass in 2013 were incremental updates to existing programs.

New Jersey, for instance, passed Assembly Bill 1459 just before the start of the new year, which amends the state's electronics recycling law to allow manufacturers to roll over up to 25 percent of their TV collection obligation to the next program year. It also waives the program fee for manufacturers who sell fewer than 100 televisions annually.

Mississippi, which does not have an e-scrap program, nevertheless passed Senate Bill 2754 requiring the state Department of Environmental Quality to maintain a directory of certified electronic recycling firms in the state. The legislation also requires state agencies to use certified e-scrap processors to manage their end-of-life IT products.

Washington made several updates to its e-scrap program, improving reporting requirements through House Bill 1498 as well as passing SB 5699, which exempted licensors of electronics from a requirement to participate in the state's stewardship program.

State legislatures will not be back in session until the new year.

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