April 2006

Washington passes e-scrap bill

Olympia, WA— The Washington State legislature passed the Electronic Waste Recycling bill which will provide all residents with free, safe and simple recycling of computers and TVs.

The bill (SB 6428) passed by wide margins in both houses: 38-11 in the Senate and 69-29 in the House. The two prime sponsors of the bill are Senator Craig Pridemore and Representative Brian Sullivan Everett.

This proposal was also one of four “Priorities for a Healthy Washington”, the selected top issues for the state’s environmental community. This status was a key factor in the bill’s maintaining strong momentum.

At its core, this legislation shares the responsibility for recycling. It is based on the concept of product stewardship - that manufacturers have a responsibility to finance the recycling of the products that they create. Because manufacturers will finance the program as part of their costs of doing business, the program will not result in additional taxes or fees for consumers.

This approach, used by many countries in Europe and Asia, provides manufacturers with a direct financial incentive to decrease the costs associated with recycling, resulting in greener design: easily recyclable products that use fewer toxics.

Consumers will have a responsibility to bring unwanted computers and televisions to an approved drop-off site or service, which may be run by local retailers, charities, governments, haulers and others. Since there will be no fee for dropping off these out-dated electronics, the rate of participation will be as high as possible.


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