Federal Laws on E-Waste Could Happen, Recycler Says


The move to enact federal legislation on electronic waste might have some momentum, according to Matt Decareau, director of business development for recycler M&K Recovery Group.


With the new administration's push for sustainability and all the green initiatives that are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Decareau says the government is in a position to enact federal recycling requirements -- especially with the switch to digital television upon us. However, he says, "Unfortunately, the state of the economy might interfere with making that a priority."


Though there is no federal mandate concerning e-waste recycling, at least 21 U.S. states have their own recycling measures on the books, and several have bills pending at one stage or another of the legislative process.


INFORM, an organization that studies innovative technologies, practices and products that provide practical solutions to complex environmental and health-related problems, has uploaded a fact sheet in the Knowledge Network that highlights policy considerations that should be kept in mind when forming cell phone take-back legislation. Cell phones are a problem especially because they contain many hazardous chemicals, which can pollute the air when burned in incinerators and leach into soil and groundwater when buried in landfills.


This document takes a look at specific laws in California, New York and Maine and at laws passed in Europe.