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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 4, 2019 04:33 PM
From: Representative Mike Zabel
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Zabel - Improving Pennsylvania’s electronic waste recycling programs
Almost all of us have dealt with this byproduct of our technologically-driven world ----- the challenge of how to manage outdated or inoperable electronic products/waste.

Electronic waste (often called “e-waste”) is the fastest growing portion of the municipal waste stream, with
Americans throwing nearly 10 million tons of it away annually.

While this e-waste represents only 2% of America’s trash in landfills, it represents 70% of the toxicity in this waste stream. By recycling e-waste, we not only reduce the potential negative environmental impacts, we also add value to our economy. For example, if all the gold/silver from outdated or inoperable cell phones in the U.S. were recycled, we could infuse more than $60 million in one year to our economy!

The e-waste law enacted in Pennsylvania several years ago is failing. The program is underfunded because the cost to manufacturers is based on the weight of the devices previously sold. New devices weigh less, so manufacturers are required to recycle fewer old devices. This imbalance is leading to an increase in illegal dumping in forests, empty lots, and other locales, both blighting our environment and costing our communities.

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to address Pennsylvania’s failing electronic waste recycling law. My proposed legislation will take best practices that have been implemented in other states, in order to make Pennsylvania’s e-waste recycling law effective, and make the Commonwealth a national leader in e-waste recycling.

Please join me in finally giving consumers an effective and efficient program to recycle e-waste in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HB2299