New e-waste legislation pending in various states
Manufacturers are to cover state costs for programs
At least 18 state legislatures, plus the city of New
York, have considered electronics waste legislation this year. This is
twice the number that considered it in the entire 2003-2007 period. So
far, four states and New York City have passed e-waste laws, two passed
less-extensive measures, two states seem close to passing laws, and five
states have measures pending.
The laws generally hold electronics makers responsible for collection
and disposal of their old products, requiring producers to set up programs
to collect, handle and recycle their old products at reasonably convenient
Manufacturers must register with state environmental agencies and pay
registration fees to cover state costs to oversee collection and recycling
The laws’ ultimate penalty is a ban on retail sales of products by noncompliant
manufacturers. Much of this year’s legislative crop grew out of fear
about the digital TV transition making millions of TVs obsolete, as well
as concern that electronic discards in general will multiply dramatically
in the next few years.
New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia and New York City passed
e-waste laws, all taking effect in January except New York City, which
takes effect the following July.
New Hampshire and New Mexico passed less-comprehensive bills.
Missouri and Illinois were poised to enact legislation, and Rhode Island,
Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Vermont had bills pending. Legislation
failed in Hawaii, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nebraska and New York.