Earlier today, I featured this story at CIO.com in the Top 10 about the Responsible Electronic Recycling Act, which places explicit restrictions on e-waste, closing loopholes that allows recyclers to pick off the choice parts from discarded electronics and ship off the rest. The hope is to stop the deplorable environmental and health conditions at electronics scavenging sites overseas. It could also help grow the green jobs sector. According to the CIO.com article, many recyclers find they can’t compete against “e-cyclers” that wind up exporting e-waste regardless. Legislation like this could help companies sprout up to fill demand.
Now comes word that Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) has also introduced legislation that would boost e-waste R&D with the eventual goal of promoting green jobs and attempts to make American companies less dependent on foreign supply chains by pumping greater amounts of recycled minerals back into circulation. Here are some of the details behind the bill, called the Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act, according to a press release issued by congressman’s office.
The bill authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award grants to reduce the environmental impact of discarded electronic devices and promote the recycling of these devices through R&D projects.
The bill calls for a study on the barriers to recycling of discarded electronic devices.
It also authorizes EPA to award grants to colleges and universities for curriculum development in the areas of recycling electronic devices and enabling environmentally friendly designs.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because a similar bill was introduced in the Senate in 2009 by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) — and cosponsored by Susan Collins (R-ME) — but failed to advance.
Better luck this time?
Image credit: Ulises Jorge CC