E waste is a major issue with most of the electronic companies. When expose to environment, it can create more environmental problems and threat to living beings.
Ken, am eager to know during and after recycling process. What happens to these substances especially the most dangerous elements like lead, carbon, mercury etc? As per Einstein’s law “energy/substances can be neither created nor destroyed; only it can be converted from one form to another”.
Whether we regulate it here or not really isn't the question as there always seem to be loopholes built into any system.
It would be a good sign of faith for the US to pass legislation on this and hope on board with our European counterparts, but until we bring countries like India and China into the fold it won't matter too much.
The reason legislation would be important is due to the fact that most of the e-waste (along with recycling) is not disposed of properly. When it is shipped to other countries it is usually disgarded in an improper manner exposing the handler and the community to much worse toxins than if it were just thrown into a landfill.
Many of the chemiclas would sit inhert in their form in microprocessors and monitors, but once they are exposed to heat the chemicals are free to be released into the local atmosphere.
While I don't believe national legislation should be pushed for regulating the whole e-waste complex, I do believe a national mandate should be ordered for individual states to at least have some sort of plan.
I believe there is too little state-to-state positive communication going on. The reason national legislation is usually the "answer" is because it creates less work and legislation for interstate commerce. With each state having their own individual rules and regulations there would be less of a draw for business to work beyond their boundary.
If, however, states worked with each other to create local guidelines and regulations we could be using government more effectively without getting the national scene involved.
First off, as long as the folks that we sell it to don't use it to make weapons to attack us, what in the world is wrong with selling our trash to those willing to paY?
But, the solution to the recycling of assorted E-Waste would be the same as the solution for discrded soft drink bottles was in Michigan: Charge a deposit when the product is purchased! A $50 deposit on every phone, music stick, TV, e-book, CD or DVD player, and personal computer, plus whatever other items I did not think of, would assure that at the end of life they would be disposed of responsibly. IT almost eliminated a whole class of litter in Michigan, the same concept should work very well to reduce the mountains of irresponsibly discarded electronics.
In fact, it may be that if this idea can be spread to the EU countries, we may be able to avoid that RoHS boondoggle, or at least scale it down a bit. Of course, it will need to be a national effort for it to work.
All I know is the more regulations on recycling, the more reuse is likely not to happen and could even hinder the US economy. I own a 1991 car and many times the only place to obtain parts is the auto junk yard. The same is true with my 2007 computer. Many stores no longer sell some of the older parts and recyclers will not allow reuse because of regulations. Until I get this older part, there is no reason to spend money today upgrading this computer with other new parts and software. So, I will use it as is and until I have a job, I must again put off buying a new computer for a few more years.
@TaimoorZ, good post, and I agree... more needs to be done than merely banning exports.
That being said, to answer the question... no, I don't think there's much chance of National E-Waste Legislation. Especially in this current environment (no pun intended).
I think the proposed legislation will die with little fanfare. It's not a hot-button issue whatsoever and the mainstream audience who has little knowledge of e-waste either does not care whatsoever about the problems or has no concerns with dumping our "garbage" in foreign lands. Better there than here, right?
Selling e-waste to developing countries is a very profitable option for companies. Not only do they get rid of their waste easily, they also end up making a small amount of money on it. Recycling of electronic components and disposal management will certainly involve more costs. How do you think the laws will cater to that? I believe if the government has to promote recycling, they need to start providing incentives to the manufacturers as opposed to merely banning the exports.
A principal reason the United States has such a pathetic presence in the consumer electronics industry is that regulations and bureaucracy have made it easier to manufacture somewhere else. The last thing the electronics industry needs is more regulations. If a company is irresponsible, the marketplace will villify it -- and businesses can compete in terms of environmental stewardship. NEVER flippantly say "there ought to be a law against that" without serious consideration of ALL the consequences.
The majority of recycling facilities currently in North America are small and underequipped. As long as we continue to have a disposable mindset and design regularly for obsolescence, we'll need a large-scale solution on this continent. After-market services continue to be a great opportunity for the entire electronics industry; sending the poorest nations thousands of tonnes of toxic waste is certainly not representative of leading environmental stewardship. Perhaps a federal mandate can help change that.
Oh great more legislation to hinder growth....just what we need....but on the bright side it will create more non producing non product jobs in an ever expanding bureaucracy.......let the states handle it state by state.........keep the feds out!
Currently it is really not convenient to handle old electronics such as computers and monitors. People would have to go through several steps in order to recycle or dump. If the legislation can make things more easier and without using too much people's tax money, then this nationa e-waste initiative will be very helpful to environment
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.