A 2010 law barring the electronics from landfills in North Carolina has come under fire, with legislators saying there aren’t enough recyclers to process those goods.
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Some lawmakers say a program designed to keep computers, printers and televisions out of North Carolina landfills should be repealed because there aren't enough recyclers accepting those electronics and there's a broader market downturn for such goods.
A 2010 law barring the electronics from landfills also created the recycling program, paid for by annual fees charged to electronics manufacturers, which accept the used products or have recycling outlets doing so on their behalf. The equipment can contain hazardous chemicals that environmentalists worry can enter into soil and water around the landfills.
The Senate version of the Republicans' annual legislation designed to reduce state regulations would repeal the program and the landfill ban. There aren't enough recyclers in the state to collect old TVs and computers, leading some people to throw them into the woods or ditches, said Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford. A downturn in the recycled electronics market is also discouraging industry growth, she said.
"If recycling ever comes back and there's a profit to be made, we can always change the law and go back to recycling," Wade said. "But right now, we have a bigger problem with them being abandoned and the possibility of having some kind of contamination because we don't have anywhere to put them."