Electronic Waste

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Feb. 20, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Last year, the legislature passed SB 20 (Byron Sher, D-Stanford), a hazardous electronic waste bill patterned after European Union regulations. Governor Davis signed it during the waning days of his administration and it goes into effect on July 1 of this year. It requires retailers selling covered products in the State to collect a recycling fee from the consumer as well as perform a number of administrative tasks. The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) was charged with the task of determining which devices contain hazardous materials. The fee will be used by the Integrated Waste Management Board (IWMB) to finance the recovery and disposal of these devices.

During the first week of 2004, Senator Sher quietly gutted his bottled water recycling bill, SB 50, which had been inactive since the end of January last year, and amended it into an electronic waste “clean-up” bill for SB 20. SB 50 moved through the Senate committees like a lightning bolt without a public hearing and passed the floor via a consent calendar vote. The bill is now in the Assembly and listed as active, but is not yet scheduled before any committees.

On Februay 27th, Kip Lipper, Sher's Chief of Staff, held a meeting with interested parties to discuss the myriad of questions they felt required clarification for the new program to work satisfactorily. The IWMB, DTSC, as well as Californians Against Waste, the League of Cities, a recycling association, and a plethora of manufacturers were either there in person or represented.

Subjects discussed were the definition of toxic material, a delisting protocol, reporting of recycled vs. recyclable content, consolidated industry vs. company reporting, fee collection, fee notification, status of testing of electronic devices, scheduling and notification for future product additions, etc. A number of parties were asked to submit for consideration language to alleviate many of the problems discussed.
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