The debate has started again over a proposed bill meant to help thwart exports of e-waste by electronics recyclers.
As I've reported several times in this blog, the e-waste issue continues to build as a national interest, because more and more individuals and businesses are opting to recycle their old computers and other electronics gear. The problem is lots of the most dangerous stuff is ending up in developing countries where disposal isn't properly regulated, not only to the detriment of the environment but to the people involved in this practice. The bottom line is that if your company is introducing any kind of recycling or refurbishment strategy, it better understand where that technology is winding up, which in some cases requires some investigative reporting.
The proposed bill in Washington would restrict exports of certain types of electronics materials meant for recycling, except if it is intended for "repair or refurbishment." Here's a story out of the Capitol with more details about the proposal.
The Electronics TakeBack Coalition growls that the bill helps legitimize the very practice it is hoping to curtail, by providing this exception. They are calling for a bill that is modelled after a practice just adopted by Dell, which prohibits the export of components or products that aren't working to any developing country.
Stay tuned on this one.