Supporting Progressive E-cycling Legislation

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Recently, I testified in Pennsylvania on the issue of computer recycling.  In my remarks, I urged the Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy to consider adopting legislation adhering to Dell's producer responsibility policy.  Our company's recycling policy focuses on consumer-friendly, efficient and effective means for recycling and reuse of electronic equipment. This marks the 11th time Dell has testified on this issue around the country.

 Across the U.S., state legislatures are grappling with what to do with unwanted computers.  As a leader in computer recycling programs, Dell is working with states to develop comprehensive, environmentally-positive legislation that is free for consumers and efficiently addresses the question, "What do I do with my computer at the end of its life?"

Last year, Texas became the first state to pass the so-called "Consensus Model" legislation.  This legislation was passed unanimously by the legislature. It was supported by a broad group of environmentalists, consumer groups, trade associations, cities, counties and of course, computer manufacturers.

The Commonwealth of Virginia followed quickly by passing the Computer Recycling and Recovery Act. The photo below shows Virginia Governor Tim Kaine  (D) singing the bill into law.  I was proud to represent Dell at the signing ceremony with Governor Kaine (D), State Delegate Ken Plum, the bill's sponsor, and my colleagues from Goodwill, Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia Technology Council.

Steam has picked up considerably this year and three other states have passed the "Texas" legislation.  West Virginia, Oklahoma and Missouri passed almost identical legislation.  And several other states, including Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and South Carolina, have bills pending that are based on the Texas law.

Of course, this is not the only approach to e-cycling legislation.  California passed the first recycling law at the state level.  However, that law, which mandates that computer sellers charge a "recycling fee" that is then remitted to the state, is controversial.  No other state has passed such a system.  Other state laws are a mix of producer responsibility with government mandates, government fees and excessive regulation.

Dell's goal has always been to ensure that any regulation or legislation is flexible and efficient.  And as we continue to provide consumers across the globe free recycling for used Dell products, we will work with elected officials to help bring free computer recycling to as many U.S. consumers as possible.

About the Author: Fran Valluzzo

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