Away from the news of bank bailouts, and out of the paws of Washington DC lobbyists, an effort is underway to draft an electronics recycling ("E-cycling") bill that will represent a consensus of multiple stakeholders from across the USA. Crosslands Bulletin reports that:-
Congressional staff members for three US senators and four members of the House of Representatives have sent a concept paper on electronics waste recycling to stakeholders in all camps. The law-makers are considering the framework for a national E-waste program.This is a constructive effort with a good strategy that deserves our attention.
The document does not pretend to be the final word, nor even the consensus views of the elected officials. It represents the collective thinking of the staff members, some of whom have been laboring over the legislation for several years. For the rest of the month, they are planning separate meetings and conference calls with the interested parties, including manufacturers, retailers, and the environmental community.
The proposed framework talks about the way the program would be financed. It outlines the basics of managing the covered devices and touches on performance requirements. The proposal also explains the roles meant to be played by states and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The Product Stewardship Institute, one of the recipients of the draft bill bill, has submitted a letter of comment. For a small sample of the nitty gritty issues being worked out, here's an excerpt.
PSI recognizes that some entities believe that recycling markets will drive the commodity value of electronics to a point where the law will no longer be needed to encourage recycling. PSI finds this assumption to be untested. Even products such as aluminum, with a high commodity value, are recycled at a rate under 65 percent. Instead of a 15 year sunset provision, PSI suggests that the current proposed Congressional requirement that EPA recommend any program changes after 15 years be sufficient. If a program phase-out is advisable, EPA can recommend that Congress take such action.
You may download the entire letter as doc file here.