The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) has released a document that may pave the way for federal legislation on recycling television- and computer-related eWaste. In an effort to prevent 'scrambling' the two business models, the plan (pdf here) calls for a two-part financing approach where TVs will be handled differently from IT equipment, such as desktop computers, laptops and computer monitors.
TV collection and recycling would be conducted by a (to be named) third party organization and be supported by a consumer fee at the point of sale. Once a significant number of so-called "legacy" sets are recovered, the fee would expire. Producers of IT equipment would fall under a different shell; they would have to implement a program to collect and recycle their own products at no cost to the consumer. In fact many vendors, such as Dell, already do this.
Obviously, with seven states having already passed eWaste laws and 22 additional states (and New York City) considering their own regs, the EIA plan is an effort to streamline the collection and processing of this junk. Essentially, the idea is to create a Federal eWaste omelet from the existing State eggs. The inherent danger is that the State regs may be watered down - 29 laws are almost certainly more restrictive than just one - but since the proposal captures both the 'consumer pays' and 'corporate pays' models that are currently in use, it's probably a good idea. Break out the beaters! :: Broadcast Newsroom :: EIA