States Inspire NSWMA To Adopt E-Waste Policy

THE NATIONAL SOLID WASTES Management Association (NSWMA) Washington, D.C., has adopted a policy that supports financial backing for electronic waste (e-waste) recycling. NSWMA's stance is a reaction to oversights during the last round of legislation, which required states to recycle e-waste but didn't always provide financial support to do so.

During the past three years, federal legislation was introduced, and more than a dozen states were required to implement take-back programs or advance recycling fees for various types of electronic products. But state legislation resulted in an unfunded mandate for local governments and their contracted hauling and recycling companies, NSWMA says. Thus, the association's policy is a response to increased interest from state legislatures in promoting the recycling of discarded electronics.

Therefore, NSWMA supports e-waste recycling legislation that builds on an existing solid waste and recycling infrastructure; provides financial support through either advance recycling fees — paid by manufacturers — or take-back provisions; ensures environmental health and safety standards; and supports programs to develop new processing technologies.

“We need to ensure that [e-waste] programs have a stable financial base before they are mandated,” says Chaz Miller, NSWMA director of state programs.