Silver Spring, Md. – The U.S. Department of Commerce held a roundtable discussion in September regarding the formation of national policy for electronics recycling and requested comments. The Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) recommendations include:
- That local governments must be included in developing any national policy, since they bear the burden of local collection and disposal.
- Collection methods for electronics should not be included in any national policy, because no proposal would fit every community.
- The policy should create a strong national incentive for manufacturers to produce more recyclable products, making it easier to create new products from old electronics.
"By not including local solid waste operators in its discussions, and by allowing only seven days to submit comments, SWANA believes that the DOC’s approach is flawed in its understanding of the electronic-waste situation. Local governments, who would be ultimately carrying out the actions mandated in a national policy and who so far have not been represented in the development of that policy, must have input before any national system can be proposed," commented John H. Skinner, Ph.D., SWANA’s executive director and CEO.
The Technology Recycling Roundtable was held at the DOC in Washington, D.C., on September 21, 2004. The meeting included stakeholders from several electronics manufacturers and retailers, as well as representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and the National Recycling Coalition. The agency is preparing to submit a report to Congress that proposes a national approach to electronics recycling.