California’s e-waste recycling program has reached a new milestone: Since the legislation establishing the program became law six years ago, it has recycled its 1 billionth pound of obsolete electronics.
Although California was the first state to pass an e-waste law, an article in The San Jose Mercury News points out that it remains the only to require consumers to pay into a fund supporting the program with fees attached to TVs, laptops and monitors. The other 24 states that have e-waste laws make the industry pay to recycle their obsolete products. The article also points out that only TVs, laptops and computer monitors have to be recycled in the state. Other devices can be exported.
The paper’s editorial page praised the law, but called for more to be done.
“Six years ago, we argued that a national strategy to deal with e-waste would best serve manufacturers, retailers and consumers. That’s still true today. Congress needs to address proper disposal of the 50 million devices that are thrown out every year,” it read.
Californians Against Waste, an environmental advocacy organization, expressed a similar sentiment and is calling attention to two bills in the legislature that it claims would make the program work even better. AB 794 would punish violators of the law and AB 960 would reduce the amount of material exported from the U.S. from California.