OR trying again to pass electronics recycling law

State rep: 'We're the only state on the West Coast without one. It's embarrassing.'
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on

Contrary to Oregon's image of being a progressive green state, the Oregon has yet to pass an electronics recycling law, reports the Oregonian.

The first state to pass a bottle recycling bill, Oregon has twice tried and failed to come up with an electronics recycling plan. Now a third attempt is being hashed out in the legislature.

"We're the only state on the West Coast that doesn't have anything. It's embarrassing," says Wayne Rifer, a Portland resident and operations manager for the Green Electronics Council, which encourages environmentally friendly design and recycling.

There are currently three e-waste proposals under consideration.

One idea is to require manufacturers to register, pay a fee to the state, and either provide recycling services directly or pay a state-approved organization to handle high-tech scrap.

"The state is not going to get into the business of recycling computers. The state's role is to make sure it's done right and costs don't become a burden," said Rep. Jackie Dingfelder, D-Portland, and chairwoman of the House Energy and Environment Committee.

Manufacturers object to having to bear the brunt of recycling costs, but agree something must be done to discourage people from dumping their computers and other electronic waste into the ever-shrinking landfill.

"I would like to see something positive happen on this. But a manufacturers-pay system hasn't worked anywhere. And we've opposed it everywhere," said Tom Gallagher, lobbyist for the Consumer Electronics Coalition.
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