U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and Gene Green, D-Texas, have introduced “The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act of 2011” (H.R. 2284), a bill that would prohibit the export of electronics such as computers and televisions to developing nations. According to a press release describing the bill, a 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office stated that many of the developing nations that receive electronic waste (e-waste) from the United States do not have the infrastructure to safely process and dispose of the materials.
“Each year, millions of tons of electronics equipment are discarded in the U.S. and shipped to developing nations for unsafe salvage and recovery,” Thompson said in a press release. “By carefully regulating the export of e-waste, this bipartisan legislation takes concrete steps to address a growing environmental and health crisis while creating good-paying jobs here in the U.S.”
Republican Representatives Steven LaTourette, Ohio, and Lee Terry, Nebraska, have agreed to co-sponsor the bill.
“E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States, and it can pose a serious problem in that most e-waste contains toxic chemicals which present environmental and health concerns when not properly handled,” added Green in the press release.