When E-waste’s adverse effects were finally brought to light many states created laws on electronic recycling and the e-waste issue. Currently twenty-four of the fifty states in the United States have e-waste laws. These states have recognized and worked towards trying to fix the issue rather than ignoring it. The laws in the states vary but all share the same common goal to reduce the harmful effects of the waste and the issues it causes our land and people.
The first of the twenty five states to pass a law was California in 2003. California established a funding system for the collection and recycling of certain types of electronic wastes, it went as far as creating the Electronic Waste Recycling Fee, a fee consumers must pay when purchasing certain electronic products. These certain electronic products are the ones identified by the Department of Toxic Substances Control, (DTSC,) as containing hazardous materials. The states that followed were; Maine in 2004, Maryland in 2005, Washington in 2006, Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, North Carolina all in 2007, with New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Illinois and Michigan following in 2008, also Indiana and Wisconsin in 2009, followed by Vermont, South Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania in 2010 and lastly Utah in 2011.
The states laws vary slightly but carry the same message. While the state of New York’s law offers free collection and recycling of your electronic devices and requires manufactures to provide an electronic waste program again at no cost to consumers, another state like North Carolina could just require manufacturers of electronic devices to be responsible for the collection. Both of these states laws are different but with similar intentions, to prevent the buildup of e-waste.
Although these states are the only ones with e-waste bans, they aren’t the only ones that are trying to help. There are three states with disposal bans; Arkansas, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The laws ban landfill disposal and incinerations of the electronics. Massachusetts simply banned CRT’s from disposal, incineration, or transfer for disposal in 2000. In 2006 New Hampshire banned what they would call “video display devices” from their landfills and incinerators. Finally, in 2007, Arkansas passed a law imposing landfill disposal fees on compacted and uncompacted solid waste to encourage electronic recycling.
The states mentioned have all taken action with their own part in protecting our planet and future generations. These laws make it so that people are more conscious and aware of their actions. Although e-waste is still an issue, we are working towards correcting the problem with things like the bans and laws passed in the states. For the future we hope all fifty states join in this but for now we have made much progress.