Magazine article Government Finance Review

E-Waste Management

Magazine article Government Finance Review

E-Waste Management

Article excerpt

The Council of State Governments States/Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC) and the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC) have developed model legislation to address the challenges of electronic waste management. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that electronic devices are the fastest-growing component of America's waste stream. An Act Providing for the Recovery and Recycling of Used Electronic Devices seeks to ensure the environmentally sound management of discarded electronic devices and promote the development of statewide infrastructures for their collection and recycling.

Currently, there is no national program to address the proliferation of electronic waste in a comprehensive manner, and states are moving to fill the void. Four states - California, Maine, Maryland, and Washington - have passed laws that mandate different approaches to financing and administering electronics end-of-life management systems. More than 20 other states have introduced legislation governing electronic waste. Many state officials and stakeholders in the Northeast agree that establishment of coordinated, multistate end-of-life programs would enable states to avoid a patchwork quilt of laws and regulations that could increase compliance and management costs and reduce recycling opportunities.

"Now is the time to address the issue of electronic waste. By waiting to craft a plan to deal with e-waste, we will be continuing to slowly kill our environment and increasing the cost of countless landfill cleanups," said New York State Senator Carl Marcellino, co-chair of the CSG/ERC Energy & Environment Committee and chair of the New York Environmental Conservation, Housing and Agriculture Budget Subcommittee. …

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