There is currently no federal legislation in the U.S. that mandates the recycling of e-waste. Some states in the U.S. allow businesses and individuals to throw their used electronics in the trash; however, many states are beginning to mandate environmental responsibility by banning the disposal of e-waste into landfills.
Colorado recently became the 18th state to ban e-waste from entering landfills and incinerators and several states are working to pass new laws and improve existing laws.
States that Banned e-waste from Landfills
View E-Waste Zero Landfill Laws in the United States in a larger map
While the states that have adopted e-waste regulations should be commended, there is still room for improvement. The EPA reports that 142,000 computers and more than 416,000 mobile devices are discarded every day. In 2010, only 27% of e-waste in the U.S. was recycled, with mobile devices being the least recycled item at 11%.
The Electronics Takeback Coalition reported ten ways we can improve our current legislation to increase collection volumes and address potential issues. These best practices are based on comparing states’ laws and their recycling results.
- Make it convenient and establish collection goals
- Encourage a variety of collection types
- Include clear and high expectations for performance
- Set minimum recycling goals, not goals that act as a ceiling
- Make sure rural areas aren’t neglected
- Include a landfill ban
- Require all processors and refurbishers to be e-Stewards certified
- Do not discourage legitimate reuse
- Include a broad scope of products for free recycling
- Transparency and reporting
It is recommended to choose an e-Stewards recycler because not all recyclers recycle e-waste in a legal and responsible manner. The e-Stewards certification makes it simple to identify recyclers that adhere to the highest global standards for environmental responsibility and worker protection.—————————————————————————————————
e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling 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.