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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 11, 2016 04:04 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Regarding the Recycling of Covered Devices
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that would amend Act 108 of 2010, also known as the Covered Device Recycling Act, to require that manufacturers of electronics recycle more of these devices.

Act 108 established a mandatory manufacturer and retailer-based recycling program for covered devices, which include televisions, computer monitors, laptop and desktop computers, and their peripherals (keyboard, printer, etc.). Many of these items contain toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, as well as other materials that could potentially cause environmental degradation if not disposed of properly. As more municipal and county governments end community-based electronic recycling programs which have become cost prohibitive, a greater number of older covered devices are not being disposed of properly.

Under Act 108, each manufacturer of covered devices that has registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is required to recycle a specific amount of old covered devices based on the total weight in pounds of the manufacturer’s covered devices for that year, multiplied by the manufacturer’s market share during the previous year. However, because newly manufactured covered devices do not weigh as much as older covered devices, less of these devices (by weight) are being recycled. In the case of televisions and computer monitors, new LCD and other flat-screen models weigh a fraction of the weight of older models, which tend to be heavier and bulkier in their overall design. Therefore, a discrepancy has developed in that manufacturers and retailers now produce and sell a greater number of lighter-weight new models compared to the number of older televisions and computer monitors they receive for recycling purposes based on weight.

Under this legislation, the pound-for-pound method established under Act 108 would be amended to provide that for each pound of new covered devices sold during the previous program year, manufacturers would be required to recycle two pounds of covered devices. This would place a greater obligation on manufacturers, not the citizens of Pennsylvania, who ultimately pay the price of environmental degradation caused from the improper disposal of consumer goods.

I hope you will join with me in co-sponsoring and supporting this legislation.

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Introduced as HB1916