EIA Offers Framework For Electronics Recycling Legislation

Consensus agreement on national solution reached by Electronic Industries Alliance

The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) recently released a consensus framework that paves the way for federal legislation establishing a national program for recycling household TVs and information technology (IT) products such as computers and computer monitors.

The board of EIA's Environmental Issues Council, which includes companies such as HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Sharp, approved the plan, and EIA officials have delivered copies to the Bush Administration, Congress, state officials, industry stakeholders and environmental advocacy organizations.

The framework, available at www.eia.org, calls for a bifurcated financing approach, separating TVs from desktop computers, laptops and computer monitors to reflect their divergent business models, market composition and consumer base. TV collection and recycling would be primarily conducted by an industry-sponsored third party organization and initially supported by a nominal fee paid by consumers at the point of purchase. The fee would eventually expire, once a significant number of so-called "legacy" sets are recovered.

Producers of IT equipment would implement a program to collect and recycle its products in a manner that is convenient for household consumers and at no cost to them. IT manufacturers would have to offer such a program as a condition of conducting business.

Another provision calls for meeting the materials restrictions established by the European Unions Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and a similar California statute.

EIA has established an electronics recycling website, www.ecyclingcentral.com, that provides reuse, recycling and donation options for consumers across the United States.

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