House Passes E-Waste Recycling Bill

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(Host) The Vermont House has passed a bill that sets up a free collection and recycling program for electronic waste.

The bill covers equipment such as computers and televisions that contain toxins and other heavy metals.

House Speaker Shap Smith said the legislation is designed to keep the waste out of landfills and make sure it’s recycled safely.

(Smith) "This will represent an ability for Vermonters to dispose of this fastest growing waste stream without cost and will address the issue – a chronic issue for our solid waste system – of making sure our electronic waste actually gets disposed of in a safe and free manner."

(Host) Manufacturers would be required to pay an annual registration fee of $5,000. A second fee – based on the volume of goods sold – would cover the cost of a recycling program.

Sarah Edwards is a Brattleboro Progressive and member of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. She said lawmakers worked with a collaborative group of environmentalists, businesses and solid waste districts.

(Edwards) "We included all the stakeholders, including manufacturers who are beginning to partner basically with us to come up with a solution. And who better to than manufacturers to understand the issue when in fact they are creating the product."

(Host) The bill says that by 2012, manufacturers have to be part of the waste collection system. It also says the collection centers for electronic waste have to be conveniently located around the state.

Twenty other states have similar legislation. A version of the Vermont bill has already passed the Senate.

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