With their average life span dropping from five years to less than two, almost 50 million American computers are abandoned every year. They just sit there in warehouses and closets, chock full of potentially deadly environmental baddies, like lead and chromium. How to deal with this? Two federal lawmakers have introduced the National Computer Recycling Act, a bill that would direct the EPA to develop and implement a national electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program. Read more... U.S. Representatives, Mike Thompson (D-California.) and Louise Slaughter (D-New York) have introduced the National Computer Recycling Act, a bill that would direct the EPA to develop and implement a national electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program.
Over 3,000 tons of electronics are discarded everyday in our country, Rep. Thompson said in a press release. Obsolete computers are taking up space in closets, warehouses and landfills and each of these computers contains dangerous materials such as lead and chromium which pose a significant risk to human health and the environment.
Electronic waste is growing exponentially as more Americans are upgrading their computer equipment every few years, Rep. Slaughter said. But with federal regulators slow to implement a comprehensive e-waste reduction program, Congressional action is necessary to curb the rising tide of this toxic waste.
The average life span of a computer has shrunk from five years to two and approximately 50 million computers are discarded every year. Maine and California have already enacted their own e-waste laws. Without a national law, states are creating a patchwork of different laws from coast-to-coast making it difficult and expensive for manufactures and retailers to adhere to fifty different laws.
The National Computer Recycling Act would:
The bills sponsors hope to hold meetings and roundtables with all parties that have a stake in the e-waste debate. Rep. Thompson said, Weve done our best to draft a bill that considers the interests of all parties involved and we will continue to seek input as we move forward. However, the e-waste problem is growing worse each day and the time has come for Congress to act.