Sacramento, Calif. — A bill that would establish the nation’s first cell phone recycling requirement passed the California State Assembly on Wednesday, by a 42-32 vote. The legislation (AB 2901) now moves on to the State Senate.
The bill requires cell-phone retailers to take back and recycle old phones at no cost to the consumer. It also would require public education to promote cell phone recycling. "Almost 40,000 cell phones are thrown away every day in California — either into a drawer somewhere or worse, into the trash," says Assembly Member Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, the sponsor of the bill. "Their circuit boards contain myriad toxins such as arsenic, beryllium and lead, many of which are persistent bioaccumulative toxins, and have the potential to be released into the air and groundwater when burned in incinerators or disposed of in landfills. That’s a serious threat to human health and our environment, and we need to provide a real alternative."