UPDATE: Recycling Managers Target Electronics

COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Banning certain items from landfills might be an effective way to increase recycling, say the majority of state recycling managers surveyed in "1998 State Recycling Laws Update (SRLU) Year-end Edition."

This is because all the economic "drivers" currently are working against recycling in the United States (e.g. low landfill costs, cheap energy, inexpensive virgin materials), and people are encouraged to consume more, says Michele Raymond, SRLU's publisher.

The survey, which was released in August by Raymond Communications Inc., also reveals that most state recycling managers (30 out of 39) are concerned about electronics in the waste stream. However, few legislation changes are expected - only four managers expect regulations to change in the next three years.

Of the 28 state managers who responded to a survey question about landfill bans, 20 believed that banning certain electronics would help increase recycling. Eight managers did not think a ban would significantly curtail the dumping of electronics into the waste stream.

Massachusetts already has proposed legislation to ban cathode ray tubes from landfills and incinerators, but more attention is needed, managers say. State officials agree that public education could improve recycling, which has leveled off in recent years.

South Dakota reported the highest landfill diversion rate this year, having reduced its per-capita landfilled waste 42 percent since 1993. Other states with high diversion rates include California, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The 1998 SRLU report covers 32 recycling issues, including packaging mandates, recycled content laws, green labeling, resin coding, landfill bans, heavy metals bans, tax incentives, purchasing preferences for recycled products, flow control, durables recycling and composting. A 50-state wrap-up of bills covering March 1997 through June 1998, summaries of existing laws and eight tables of U.S. and Canadian laws also are included.

The 140-page report is available by itself or as part of a subscription to SRLU. Contact: Raymond Communications, 5111 Berwyn Rd., #115, College Park, Md. 20737. Phone: (301) 345-4237. Fax: (301) 345-4768. The report also is available at www. raymond.com