Maryland has passed an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling law that requires computer manufacturers to pay an annual fee to fund local computer recycling programs. Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. signed the bill (HB-575) into law in early May.
Under the terms of the bill, manufacturers that sell an annual average of more than 1,000 computers in Maryland are required to register with the state by the start of 2006 and pay a $5,000 fee. In subsequent years, the manufacturers can reduce the cost of their annual registration fee to $500 if they establish a program that allows consumers to recycle the products free of charge.
Maryland joins California and Maine as states that require consumers or manufacturers to pay fees to defray the costs of recycling e-waste. Several bills aimed at creating a national e-waste recycling system have been introduced in Congress.