Adoption of E-Waste Legislation in the U.S. Declines in 2013

E-waste related bills accounted for more than 10 percent of all U.S. recycling and solid waste bills introduced in 2013; however, this year marks the first time in 10 years that no major state legislation surrounding e-waste was passed, according to Resource Recycling.

From 2003 to 2011, at least one state each year adopted comprehensive legislation surrounding e-waste recycling. A total of 26 states have created statewide e-waste programs since 2003. Click here to view a map of the states that have passed zero landfill related to specific technologies.

The only e-waste bills that passed in 2013 were incremental updates to existing programs. In 2012, Colorado passed a bill to ban electronics from entering landfills and directed state agencies to recycle all electronics. This legislation took effect in 2013, but comparable legislation was not passed this year.

E-Waste Legislation Passed in 2013

  • Assembly Bill 1459 was passed in New Jersey, which amends its electronics recycling law to waive manufacturing fees if less than 100 televisions are sold annually. Also, all manufacturers are permitted to roll over up to 25 percent of their TV collection obligation to the next program year.
  • Washington updated its e-waste program to include reporting requirements through House Bill 1498. The state also passed Senate Bill 5699, which exempts electronics licensors from participating in its stewardship program.
  • Mississippi does not have an e-waste program, but it did pass Senate Bill 2754, requiring the state Department of Environmental Quality to maintain a directory of R2 and e-Stewards certified recyclers in the state and requiring state agencies to use these certified recyclers to manage their e-waste.

There is currently no federal legislation in the U.S. that mandates the recycling of e-waste. Environmental responsibility is currently left in the hands of state governments to ban the disposal of e-waste into landfills. However, many e-waste bills are being left in limbo until after the New Year because state legislatures are now in recess or adjourned.

The EPA estimates that 70 to 80 percent of electronics recycling companies export toxic e-waste overseas for profit. Much of the e-waste exported ends up in landfills and poisons the environment and people.

To ensure e-waste is disposed of in a responsible manner, it is recommended that businesses and consumers recycle their used mobile devices and other e-waste with an e-Stewards electronics recycler. e-Stewards certified recyclers adhere to the highest global standards for reuse and recycling of electronic equipment and environmental protection. Learn more at http://www.e-Stewards.org.

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e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

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