Minnesota’s new legislation removes some electronics, including laptops and tablets, from the “video display devices” category because of their higher resale and component recovery value. Recycling companies will no longer be allowed to charge for collection of these electronics and must hold third-party certification.
In North Carolina, lawmakers who support the repeal say the 2010 bill, which banned e-waste from landfills, has been unsuccessful and led to an increase in illegal dumping. They say once commodity prices rise, the e-recycling program could be reinstated.
While 27 states and the District of Columbia have e-recycling laws on the books, 22 states don’t — and state laws fall short because of lack of funding or loopholes in take-back mandates, according to Electronic Recyclers International. The organization says one major reason why e-waste recycling and reuse is struggling in the US is because there is no federal e-waste law that requires the recycling of electronic waste or prohibits it from being exported to developing countries.
Despite Minnesota’s new e-waste regulations, several states have moved in the opposite direction, according to Waste Dive. West Virginia reversed a ban on landfilling some e-waste. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill to update the state’s e-waste program earlier this year. Rhode Island and the Chicago area recently closed collection sites because of lack of funding.
New York state’s e-waste recycling law is also under scrutiny because it costs local governments too much money and is “not working as intended,” according to local waste management officials.
The recent drop in commodity prices have hurt companies’ e-recycling programs as well. Earlier this year Best Buy changed its in-store e-waste recycling program, charging customers $25 for each TV and computer monitor they recycle at its stores, because it has been losing money on the program.
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