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  • Electronic waste, or e-waste, results from harmful chemicals used to manufacture consumer electronics. There are currently no federal regulations regarding e-waste, but some states have adopted their own regulations, mostly aimed at manufacturers.

    Harmful Chemicals

    Electronic waste legislation aims to prevent chemicals like lead, cadmium, mercury, and brominated flame retardants, which are harmful to human health when leached into the water supply or burned in the atmosphere.

    States with Legislation

    Twenty U.S. states currently have e-waste legislation in place: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as the municipality of New York City.

    How the Laws Work

    Programs vary from state to state, but most laws implement fees to manufacturers which go to government programs that recycle consumer electronic devices, and spread awareness in retailers of the need to recycle electronics. California is the only state which imposes a fee on consumers.

    Devices

    Different devices are required to carry the manufacturer fee in each state, but collectively they include LCD televisions, monitors, cell phones, laptops, desktops, keyboards, mouse, MP3 players, printers, fax machines, and computer cables.

    Pending Federal Legislation

    In late 2009, Congressional Resolution H.R. 938 was drafted to push for the safety of electronic recycling, prohibit the offshore shipping of electronic waste, and prevent the use of prison recycling centers.

    The First Act

    The original Electronic Waste Recycling Act was passed in California on September 25, 2003. It originally placed fees on manufacturers, but since has evolved into the only state with both manufacturer and consumer fees.

    Source:

    Electronics Takeback Coalition

    California.Gov

    Electronics Takeback Coalition

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