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Waste Electronics: A Growing Problem Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board presentation to the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee of.

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Presentation on theme: "Waste Electronics: A Growing Problem Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board presentation to the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Waste Electronics: A Growing Problem Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board presentation to the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee of the Association of Minnesota Counties September 18, 2003

2 Whats the Problem? TVs and Computer Monitors Contain Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) CRTs are the largest source of lead in Minnesotas garbage Backlog of e-waste TVs = > 3.5 million in MN homes Computer Monitors => 2 million in MN homes and businesses Growing Waste Stream 500,000 TVs sold in MN annually 400,000 – 500,000 computer monitors sold annually Few disposal options available to residents

3 Whats a Cathode Ray Tube? A vacuum tube in which images are produced when an electron beam strikes a phosphorescent surface German scientist Karl Braun originally developed the CRT in 1897 Requires lead to shield users from X-rays

4 The Insides of a CRT

5 Why is the lead in CRTs a problem? Lead is in the phosphorescent coating of the tube - fused between 2 pieces of glass, so an unbroken CRT is relatively safe But crushing CRT glass releases solid lead into the environment Lead in the funnel and face plate glass - does not leach readily Lead in the frit which joins the face plate glass to the funnel glass leaches readily when subjected to TCLP test

6 How should CRTs be managed? Should NOT be landfilled Should NOT be sent to Waste-to-Energy Facilities Should be recycled Component parts of CRTs can be recycled: glass, lead, other materials

7 Where are Waste Electronic Products Going Now? Lots of old TVs and computers stored in homes (check your basement!) Current Under-developed System Privately-Operated Collection Facilities - limited Government Sponsored (Metro) - limited Hennepin County and Minneapolis County and Municipal Event Collections Manufacturer-Sponsored Programs - limited Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, IBM, Dell, Gateway Also - illegal dumping and abandoned warehouses

8 Its Costly to Recycle End-of-life Electronics Today Separate collection, or drop off Labor-intensive disassembly required Shipment of components to other parts of the country for recycling

9 Proposed Solution: Shared Responsibility Trend: Rapid technological advances => more electronic waste Trend: Less governmental involvement and governmental funding Common Sense Solution: Shared responsibility with manufacturers, consumers, and government

10 Legislative Product Stewardship Efforts Minnesota National Other Countries

11 Minnesota CRT Prohibition 2003 Session: Prohibition passes Effective July 1, 2005, a person may not place in mixed municipal solid waste an electronic product containing a cathode- ray tube.

12 Product Stewardship: State Initiatives 24 States have introduced legislation States with Bans Massachusetts California Maine Minnesota!

13 National Initiative National Electronic Product Stewardship Initiative (NEPSI) Officially launched in June 2001 Purpose: Seek industry participation in the collection, transportation, and recycling of waste electronics Minnesota has 2 representatives participating in NEPSI: Sherry Enzler, representing the Mn OEA Commissioner Jim Kordiak, representing the SWMCB

14 Why not wait for a national solution? Best case scenario Voluntary agreement through NEPSI by end of 2003 Will likely require Federal legislation to implement 2 years to get legislation; 2 years to start-up May be in place by 2008?

15 Other Countries Pursuing Product Stewardship Japan First major economy to adopt regulations mandating the recycling of discarded electronic products (effective in 2001) Consumers pay the direct costs of transporting and recycling at the point of recycling; manufacturers provide hauling and recycling facilities European Union European Parliament passed legislation that will require manufacturers to take back their electronic products when consumers discard them (effective in 2006) Requires producers to bear the cost of collecting and recycling their discarded electronic products from citizens. Mandates a timetable for phasing out most toxic substances in electronic products Canada Pending provincial legislation Voluntary industry group underway

16 Local Government, on the front lines, cant wait until 2008! Demand for recycling solutions is growing…. Growing Threat of Illegal Disposal…

17 Do citizens want recycling options? If you offer, they will come… Hennepin County Consumer Electronics Program History

18 Not Just a Metro Problem... E-waste Collected in Duluth, Mn E-waste ending up in China

19 Proposed Language For Resolutions and Legislative Platforms [agency / organization] supports legislation regarding management of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) that incorporates manufacturer responsibility, reliable and convenient collection options, responsible recycling of CRTs, a mechanism to address the backlog of CRTs, and a preference for advance recycling fees without relying on local government for management of CRTs, effective July 1, 2005.


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