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Electronic Take-Backs: It's Not Just a Good Idea, It's the Law
Alex Steffen, 31 Mar 06

We've written a lot about the problem of e-waste. Here's a bold solution: the Washington State legislature has just passed "the most advanced producer responsibility law in the United States":

In every county in the state, consumers (including residents, schools, charities, small businesses and small governments) can drop off their old monitors, computers and TVs at convenient no-charge collection centers, including retailers, non-profits, and local waste facilities. Retailers will be required to let buyers of new equipment know about the recycling centers... Manufacturers can either finance and set up an independent program, or participate in a standard program if they don’t want to set up their own. Regardless, each manufacturer will have to pay their “fair share” of the overall costs of the program based on their share of the products being brought to the collection facilities.

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Alex, that's great news. I believe your law is akin to one that passed here in Maine several months ago. My wife, who works for an environmental NGO here, played a significant role in promoting the idea. I was happy to learn that Hewlett-Packard was supportive and constructive during the debate, and dismayed beyond belief that Apple was one of the worst of the "bad guys". I suspect that many who participate in this site are Apple devotees, and would be shocked to learn how fiercely the company has lobbied against this kind of legislation. I think they've made a bad decision, contrary to the values of most of their customers.

Posted by: David Foley on 31 Mar 06



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