Sunday, March 1, 2009

eWaste: A Growing Problem of National Concern

A Rather New National Problem that is of Growing Concern; e-waste

From the pages of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) website.

Cradle to Grave Electronics Management

NCSL has long recognized that technology and technology equipment are important and essential to US participation in the global economy. NCSL has long recognized the need to manage solid waste in an environmentally, economically, and politically acceptable manner. As outlined in its Solid Waste Management policy, NCSL believes that source reduction and recycling offer the most economically and environmentally sound methods for dealing with a significant percentage of the solid waste stream.

An ever growing segment of the solid waste stream is comprised of discarded electronic equipment. Such electronic waste or e-waste is entering the national waste stream at an increasing rate due to a number of contributing factors. These include the expanding pervasiveness of electronics, rapid technological advances and the subsequently shorter lifespan of electronics technologies and a large inventory of obsolete electronics.

The exponential growth of this segment of the waste stream has brought a new urgency to the discussion of electronics life-cycle management. According to the International Association of Electronics Recyclers (IAER) approximately 3 billion units will be scrapped during the rest of this decade. However, only a small percentage of the scrapped units are being recycled according to recent studies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that in 2003 alone, about 50 million existing computers became obsolete; of these, one source estimates, only a small percentage were recycled. Also urgent, is the need to take steps expeditiously to limit the effect of hazardous substances on public health.

NCSL supports efforts to increase the amount of electronic material that is removed from the waste stream and diverted from landfills. The disincentives for reuse and recycling of such electronics scrap or e-scrap must be examined and mitigated by all relevant stakeholders. NCSL encourages the full cooperation and assistance of the federal government in state efforts to promote responsible product stewardship and encourage the development of an infrastructure necessary to support the widespread recovery of a broad range of electronic equipment. Any legislative or regulatory action taken at the federal level must recognize the importance of a state-federal partnership in managing the current stream of end-of-life electronics and promote future product stewardship of electronic equipment.


Well, so, that is two new words I have learned so far this year! "e-waste," and, from watching too much C-SPAN,... "micro-banking."

Things arent looking very good and I am not feeling very well at all these days.
Howe' yu all doin? Better'n me, I hope.

Please cut and paste this link into your web-browser to see and sign a petition, "Not in My Backyard,";

No comments: