Wednesday, October 25, 2023

House Committee To Hold Oct. 30 Hearing On State’s Electronics Waste Recycling Law; Current Program Is Broken

House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee is scheduled to hold an October 30 public hearing on House Bill 1607 (Borowski-D-Delaware), a comprehensive rewrite of the state electronics waste recycling law (sponsor summary).

When she announced the legislation in July, Rep. Lisa Borowski (D-Delaware) said, “Manufacturers in Pennsylvania are required to provide recycling opportunities for certain covered devices, such as computers and televisions; however, this system has failed to keep pace with demand. 

“The rapid rate of technological advancement in today’s society is rendering new electronic devices obsolete nearly overnight. 

“Simultaneously, [the] current statute, the Covered Device Recycling Act, calls for a diminishing amount of e-waste to be recycled every two years.

“The existing program, which inhibits many Pennsylvanians from disposing of their electronics properly or safely, has resulted in the accumulation of unusable electronic devices within households across the state. 

“Some individuals have resorted to the illegal disposal of such devices in landfills, streams and forests. 

“In certain locations throughout the state, residents are paying exorbitant fees as high as $200 to recycle their electronics.

“That is why I will be introducing legislation to allow all counties within the state to participate in an e-waste recycling collection program. 

“Through a collaborative, self-sustaining system comprised of the manufacturing, recycling and retail industries, as well as local governments and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, this legislation would give residents access to convenient collection sites at no cost to themselves or their municipalities.

“Associated deposits would not be assessed on individuals for any e-waste discarded at a designated collection site or event. 

“While counties would have the opportunity to participate in this program for the benefit of their residents, they would not be required to do so. Residents would be able to drop-off their electronic devices at a location of their choosing.”

The hearing will be held in Room 205 of the Ryan Building starting at 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live. 

Rep. Robert Matzie (D-Beaver) serves as Majority Chair of the House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-4444 or sending email to:  Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-260-6432 or sending email to:

Electronics Waste Recycling Program Is Broken

Local governments, community groups and DEP have all concluded the electronic waste recycling program is broken and needs a major overhaul to work effectively.

Several legislative hearings have documented the fact the state’s electronic waste recycling program just isn’t working, and that hasn’t changed since a 2017 Senate hearing.  Read more here.

In December 2021, DEP, in consultation with the agency’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee, released a white paper of what those changes in law should be.

Click Here to read more about how the electronic waste recycling program can be fixed and recommendations on making the curbside recycling program more effective from a presentation by Larry Holley, DEP’s Recycling Program Manager, at an October 2022 meeting of DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council.

For more information on the electronics waste recycling program, visit DEP’s Electronics Waste Recycling webpage.  

Related Article:

-- DEP Bans Sale Of Trexonic Electronic Products For Not Complying With PA’s Electronic Waste Recycling Law; E-Waste Recycling Law Broken  [PaEN]

[Posted: October 25, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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