E-Waste Not

Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle's Task Force on Waste Materials Discovery and Disposal has recommended that the state eventually ban electronic waste from disposal in landfills. The recommendation is included in a report by the task force on how the state and its communities can reduce waste and use resources in an economically and environmentally sound manner.

According to the report, Wisconsin and its communities should promote the recycling and reuse of discarded televisions, monitors, and laptop and desktop computers in anticipation of a ban on the disposal of such devices being in place by the end of 2010.

The report adds that e-waste policies “should not unduly burden government and should embrace principles of shared responsibility among consumers, producers, and state and local governments.”

Cynthia Moore, recycling program coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, says proposed legislation could require that manufacturers finance and coordinate e-waste collection efforts in order to meet goals set by the state.

The task force's other recommendations included recovering more scrap paper, which represents more than 20 percent of the state's municipal solid waste (MSW), and construction and demolition debris, which accounts for roughly 29 percent of the state's MSW.

The group also urges that state officials “re-examine the feasibility of beverage container deposit laws.” According to the report, roughly half of the beverage containers used in the state are not recovered by recycling programs.

The full report can be found at www.wasteresources.wi.gov.