TVs, PC monitors should be recycled, says LA official

A proposal that would require electronics retailers to set up recycling schemes for discarded televisions and computer monitors, the first proposed law of its kind in the USA, has been introduced by a Los Angeles city official.

Concerned about toxic waste from discarded TVs and monitors, Los Angeles City Council member Ruth Galanter introduced a motion before the council recently, requiring any retailer who sells TVs or monitors to take back or arrange for the return of “hazardous electronic scrap” as of Jan. 1, 2004.

ENN reports that under the Los Angeles proposal, the retailers would be responsible for the proper recycling of the “e-waste,” which a spokeswoman for Galanter said would be the first program of its kind in the nation.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control already prohibits landfills from accepting certain components of TVs and monitors because of the presence of elements like lead, cadmium, and mercury that can pose health risks. At a press conference, Los Angeles councillor Eric Garcetti said electronic waste from Los Angeles was making its way to China, where he said workers were paid US$1.50 a day to dismantle the scrap without protective gear. In early 2002 Californians Against Waste estimated that between 50 percent and 80 percent of the “e-waste” collected for recycling in the western United States was placed on container ships and sent to places like China for recycling.

Galanter’s motion also noted that the proper disposal of e-waste can cost anywhere from US$800 – 1,000 per ton, with the city often bearing those costs. Late last year California Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a bill that would have added a tax to the sale of certain electronic devices to cover their eventual disposal and recycling.

The city council passed an ordinance last year supporting the bill and calling for a city ordinance on e-waste recycling if the state bill did not become law. The Consumer Electronics Association, the nation’s largest trade group representing the industry, condemned the bill and said at the time it was working on alternatives.

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: Warmer Bulletin #06-2003: February 23
Autor: Kit Strange (Warmer Bulletin)
Email do Autor:

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