THE INSTITUTE OF SCRAP Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), Washington, has adopted an electronics recycling policy that calls for ending advanced recycling fees and manufacturers' financial responsibility for recycling as soon as possible. Instead, the policy calls for legislation that “promotes a market-based, sustainable recycling infrastructure and facilitates the recycling of electronics in an environmentally sound manner.”
According to ISRI, attempts to stimulate the recycling of e-waste through advanced recycling fees or making manufacturers financially responsible for the process interrupt the long-term development of a sustainable e-recycling infrastructure.
However, the policy statement acknowledges “in some very limited circumstances, the ability to wait for market forces to drive the recycling of certain materials, such as electronics, is limited, and hence financial drivers may be necessary to stimulate the recycling of these materials.” In those circumstances, ISRI says, holding the manufacturers of electronics financially responsible for the recycling of their products should be the first option, followed by the imposition of advanced recycling fees on consumers.
ISRI also advocates legislation that requires manufacturers to make products that can be safely recycled. ISRI's staff members will visit with state and federal legislators to introduce the policy. To view it, visit www.isri.org.
Maryland, California and Maine require consumers or manufacturers to pay fees to defray e-recycling costs. Meanwhile, several bills aimed at creating a national e-waste recycling system have been introduced in Congress.