Washington State Moves Toward Producer Responsibility for E-Cycling

Olympia, Wash. -- Legislation has been introduced in Washington State that would hold manufacturers financially responsible for collecting, recycling and disposing of electronics, such as old computers, televisions and cell phones. House bill 1942, sponsored by Rep. Mike Cooper, D-Edmonds, also would forbid landfilling and discourage exporting of hazardous electronic components. Shifting the cost to manufacturers would lift the recycling burden off consumers, local governments and businesses. But critics of producer responsibility, namely in the electronics industry, say it could trigger a trade war with nations that do not have to compensate for these costs. Manufacturer responsibility currently is the law in the European Union.