With some studies suggesting many Americans diverge between e-waste recycling desires and how to pay for it, it is no wonder we are considered often to be one of the largest generators of e-waste in the world. What are we to do about this? A group of researchers suggest a uniform national policy, in line with what other nations around the world are doing.
These researchers, recently publishing a paper on this subject in the journal Science, are from the University of California, Davis. They say we are way behind “in this area compared to Europe and even parts of Asia,” Typical electronics, even ones which are energy efficient, still contain many hazardous materials within. These materials are often removed “in rudimentary recycling centers in developing countries” after products are discarded by consumers without thought into domestic trash or recycling systems.
The researchers point out that a new bill before the U.S. Senate serves as a rudimentary first step towards a more national focus on e-waste. The Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act “would fund research and demonstration projects, education efforts and research into alternatives to toxic or hazardous materials.” It is currently still in committee, however, so consumers will have to rely, for now, on better self education and what hopefully are good local resources to properly handle electronics they want to dispose of properly.
Science [via press release]