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Mandatory Hardware Recycling Coming To US?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the send-me-your-tired-your-obsolete dept.

218

BDPrime writes, "A U.S. congressional caucus has met twice to discuss proposing national legislation that would make hardware manufacturers responsible for taking back their own stuff, similar to what Europe implemented with WEEE (PDF). The story quotes David Douglas, one of Sun's eco-evangelists, reflecting on the alternative: 'If we were having to deal with local regulations and local disposition facilities in every state, to deal with every state's nuanced costs, that would clearly involve cost to our basic equipment.'" It's early days for this movement; the buzzword to watch here is "E-waste."

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Huh? (4, Funny)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427087)

It's early days for this movement; the buzzword to watch here is "E-waste." But...but... I thought that was called "myspace"!

What does this have to do with EWM? (4, Interesting)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427089)

This is the second time that I've noticed kdawson misusing the Enlightenment icon. Are you guys just picking icons based on how pretty they look now?

Re:What does this have to do with EWM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427421)

no kidding.....my first thought when seeing the icon was that e17 was finally released....oh well, maybe next year ;)

Maybe it's not a mistake? ;) (3, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427883)

Humm, an article about "e-waste" filed under Enlightenment.

Well, that's not exactly complimentary. Guess kdawson really likes Metacity.

Re:What does this have to do with EWM? (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427955)

There is only one enlightened topic. This one. [slashdot.org]

Re:What does this have to do with EWM? (2, Interesting)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428379)

And this one. [slashdot.org]

Re:What does this have to do with EWM? (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428183)

I'm more confused about how Kimya Dawson [kimyadawson.com] got to be a /. editor in the first place.

US and pollution... (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427103)

Sounds like a pleonasm!

E-waste... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427109)

I thought that term was used only during presidential election years when disposing of hanging/pregnant/whatever chads from ballots.

Why stop there? (4, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427113)

Why don't we place the same requirements on the appliance and automotive industries?

Oh, they probably have better lobyists, don't they?

Re:Why stop there? (2, Informative)

fructose (948996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427295)

You do realize that over 90% of the steel in cars and at least 25% of appliances (fridges, washers/dryers) comes from recycled steel? More info here: http://www.recycle-steel.org/ [recycle-steel.org]

Re:Why stop there? (3, Interesting)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427313)

You must be kidding. When did you ever see a car in the landfill. They go to junkyards, which after salvaging what they can in parts, they are smashed and then taken to be recycled. Not sure about appliances, but every time I have had a new one delivered, they have taken the old one away with them. As much as most metal prices are now, if you throw something that has much metal in it away someone is likely to take it out of your trash and to the scrap yard.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

BSOD DOC (1008507) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427923)

I saw one once. Back in the late 80's a friend of mine stripped a Honda CVCC (smaller than a Honda CRX) for parts, put it on a flatbed, took it to the county dump at night, and rolled it off into the big dumpsters there.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427957)

Not sure about appliances, but every time I have had a new one delivered, they have taken the old one away with them.
Go around back, behind your local appliance store.

They'll most likely have a pile of old (but not necessarily broken) appliances that get picked up on a weekly basis. And they could care less if you went and grabbed any of it. In other words, if you ever need a compressor or misc washer/dryer parts, nobody is stopping you.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427359)

Or bullets. Some of them have an annoying habit of showing up in strange places.

Recycled bullets (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428189)

You joke, but much of the lead in bullets used recreationally is sold as scrap and reused.

I used to clean out the bullet trap in the back of the range I used to go to (and without any sort of safety gear -- OSHA would have a field day with that) and it got sold to a local guy who used to melt and cast new bullets out of it. You just put it in a crucible and heat it, and most of the other metals (mostly copper, from jacketed bullets) either floats or sinks, and you get your lead back. There are all sorts of "recipes" on how much virgin lead/antimony/rose-petals/etc. you need to add back in, to get good quality bullet casting material.

Not sure what the industry is like now, but you used to be able to go to the backs of most of the shooting rags (e.g. Shotgun News) and find people selling blocks of recycled lead that they had obtained by melting down stuff like this. Wheel weights were also a source of raw material, although I've heard that they're considered very "dirty."

The brass cartridge cases have an even more direct recycling path -- most of them (centerfire ones, anyway) are just reused. Leave a bag of spent .45 ACP brass around a range and see how long it lasts -- not long.

The point here is that stuff gets recycled without any deposits or laws, because it's economically advantageous to do so. Reusing bullet lead and brass cartridge cases makes for cheaper ammunition than buying new stuff, and that means that the scrap has a fairly high residual value. It also helps that the remanufacturing necessary to make usable product out of either is fairly simple and low-tech (you can do both in your basement or garage).

Re:Why stop there? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427361)

There are already several regs regarding how appliances are treated when they become waste, same for automobiles. There are even regs to deal with many of the specific components of each.

How it makes sense to force the manufacturer to 'take it back' I don't quite get. For nearly everything charging the end user for disposing of it seems to work well.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427655)

Well, size, for one thing. You can't just dump a car in the trashcan.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428015)

As has been covered just a bit above this point, automobiles are already recycled because recycling them is lucrative. Damn near every part of them is recycled. Japan buys up an absolute crapload of our recycled steel because their freshly-mined stuff is crap. That's why they made folded swords - and the best of those were made with imported metals anyway. Recycled metal is a little harder than virgin ore, but modern manufacturing methods take this into account, and it's actually a desirable property because although the metal is harder to work, it's stamped out anyway, and the metal is actually harder which makes it more rigid, which means you can use lighter-gauge metal.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427875)

Have you bought a car battery recently? You have to pay a deposit that you get back when you turn the old one in.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427441)

Applicances would be interesting. I think a lot of companies (like Sun and HP) are advocating their recycling plans because it gives them an additional chance to "touch" their customers (and talk them into buying more stuff) when their customers are in a disposal (and therefore a "buying") mood.

Autos are largely covered by the concept of a "trade-in".

Of course, if Congress gets involved, you can also look forward to an inflated, but standard, recycling surcharge on your corporate box orders.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428013)

The thing that scares me about this is that it creates a "bucket of money" out of those recycling fees. In some essence, the surcharge is supposed to go into the bucket when you buy the thing, STAY there while you use it, and be used for disposal when you're done with it. Buckets of money set aside for the future just don't seem to ever stay set aside, in Washington. Think Social Security.

Perhaps one might say that less government interference is better, but I think the basic idea is that the current situation is not acceptable. We never seem to know the real price of our actions until way later than we should have.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427643)

Because you, as the owner of a "cast off" car can already sell it to the established recycling industry.

Even individual parts are recycled. Have you ever bought a car part and gotten a discount for trading in a "core"? Well, the core becomes a rebuilt part or recycled steel.

Dealing with old cars is an established and highly functional business. Requiring the manufacturers to take back the cars would actually hurt a lot of people financially and reduce the efficacy with which we deal with them.

Appliances are a bit more of a problem, but there are people at the local level who manage to do a fair job of dealing with them.

Recycling electronics is specialized, doesn't return much in the way of reusables and is thus done at a loss.

KFG

... and beer companies too! (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427833)

Agreed. If you have to eat the waste, you'll think a bit more about what you put into a product. Sure this adds a bit of cost, but if a product is designed for recycling then it will cost less to recycle. The sooner the producers get the bill, the sooner they'll think more about it.

What makes the e-industry e-worse is that there is no practical use for many junked items. Sure, you can reuse the aluminium etc, but there's so little for the amount of work involved in stripping it. Car bodies can be recycled quite easily because there's lots of metal for relatively little effort.

Re:Why stop there? (1, Interesting)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427989)

Because we're not running out of landfill space, nor the materials that go into automobiles and appliances?

Because recycling, when it's stupid, is STILL STUPID.

Because forcing stupid recycling on people is, well, stupid?

This has absolutely nothing to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427123)

with Enlightenment. Please don't misuse the icon, kdawson.

Re:This has absolutely nothing to do (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427531)

No one has seen or heard of Enlightenment in so long, that he probably thought the icon was for "enlightening" topics. Either that, or he missed the button again.

PLEASE Scuttlemonkey, don't fire him again [slashdot.org] ! He's just trying to keep up with Slashdot tradition. ;)

Reverse migration. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427137)

"A U.S. congressional caucus has met twice to discuss proposing national legislation that would make hardware manufacturers responsible for taking back their own stuff, similar to what Europe implemented with WEEE.

First we adopt their copyright (Berne convention). And now we adopt their waste handling laws. Let's have a big hand for adopting their women?

Re:Reverse migration. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427179)

Let's have a big hand for adopting their women?

Sure, but as a part of the deal they have to adopt our dentistry.

LK

Re:Reverse migration. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427307)

Take a trip down to the Southern U.S. and try to count how many people have all their teeth, then tell me that dentistry in the U.S. is something to brag about. Most of them probably don't even brush the one or two they _do_ have left, and that's just the children.

Re:Reverse migration. (1)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427671)

Southern rednecks are now the benchmark for the state of dental care in the US?

Re:Reverse migration. (1)

BSOD DOC (1008507) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428043)

Dagnabit, I guess dem Yankees brush betir. Dat's why weez eatz grits, no chooin ricwired.

This will have horrible repercussions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427167)

I'm thinking of the increased emergency room visits by homeless people forced to push shopping carts laden with all my old servers. My back aches in sympathy.

When old Nintendos are thrown away... (0)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427175)

...will Wii become WEE?

Console manufacturers? (-1, Redundant)

mamer-retrogamer (556651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427199)

What I wonder is does this apply to console manufacturers? Because if it does, Nintendo will have to recycle all its Wii's thanks to WEEE.

Re:Console manufacturers? (1)

mamer-retrogamer (556651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427401)

Okay, so that was a piss-poor joke. I won't let it happen again.

Re:Console manufacturers? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427819)

*crickets*

It's already here (2, Informative)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427209)

One of my clients is in the waste management industry and they are already dealing with regulations from the State of California that prevents them from accepting televisions, CRTs or flat panel displays. The governator passed legislation that requires special disposal of the afforementioned products and of course, that disposal requires a fee that the consumer must pay.

Re:It's already here (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427513)

The governator passed legislation that requires special disposal of the afforementioned products and of course, that disposal requires a fee that the consumer must pay.
Unless of course you do what everyone else does, and chuck it in some business' Dumpster in the middle of the night, like a ninja janitor.

Positive incentives work better (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427859)

Why charge a person for doing the right thing? Then, as parent notes, they have an incentive to dump on someone else.

Pay them to do the right thing.

A good model is the recycling of aluminum cans here in California. The manufacturer pays a small tax when selling in the state, and then most or all of that tax is retuned to the person who brings it to a recycling center. I've seen people who apparently make a living just recycling other people's trash.

Re:Positive incentives work better (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428045)

Up in Calgary when I lived there the Boy Scouts would get their yearly operating funds by collecting everyones cans and bringing them to the recycling center for the deposit. People really liked it because the city didn't have regular recycling pickup and most people don't like making the special trip out to the recycling center. They just had to leave their cans out on the front stoop in a bag on a particular Saturday and the scouts would drive around and pick them up. I thought it was a fantastic fundraiser becaues everybody won. The people got a service, the scouts got some funds, and the environment was saved just a bit more.

Re:Positive incentives work better (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428295)

Is that unusual where you live? Around here, it's SOP for the Scouts and school fundraisers and whatnot. Of course, *we* had to knock on doors, but that's only because people around here actually recycle their recyclables to get their deposit back (they're just happy to give up a few bucks for the sake of convenience, especially when the money goes towards a deemed worthwhile cause). Heck, back when I was about six or seven, I used to take a couple bagfuls of cans to the corner store that accepted them and then bought a couple candy bars. Obviously good for me, and my mom was happy to not need to do it herself (though she's hardly the candy afficianado that most six-year-olds are).

Re:Positive incentives work better (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428129)

A good model is the recycling of aluminum cans here in California. The manufacturer pays a small tax when selling in the state

Uh, the consumer pays the California Redemption Value of 2.5 cents per can at the time of purchase.

There are two reasonable models for recycling electronics. This is one of them; charge them the actual cost of disposal plus some additional money, and when you take them back you give them back the deposit minus the disposal fee. Alternatively, you charge the manufacturer (who passes the cost on to the customer) and then the customer has no reason to pitch their monitor into a ravine. They've already paid the fee.

Re:Positive incentives work better (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428171)

Pay them to do the right thing.

I could support a "deposit" like they have on cans and bottles here in the Northeast. Unfortunately, with the growth of the bottled beverage market and inflation it seems that $.05 per bottle isn't quite enough anymore to keep all of our streets and parks clean. But those $10-20 fees on tv monitor disposal are causing a lot of monitors to get left by the side of the road or in public parks here in Massachusetts. Any disposal fees at all cause litter and environmental problems, but the higher ones cause even more problems.

Re:Positive incentives work better (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428347)

Good idea. But despite my cheap joke above, if it's really that much of a "right thing" you generally don't even need to pay people to do it. Just make it simple.

While aluminum cans are ubiquitous enough to warrant small-scale bribery (anyone who remembers when that started can probably tell you how ridiculously huge a portion of the public litter was drink cans and bottles beforehand,) other recycling programs have generally worked well without charging the public. In many areas of the US including mine, people separate recyclables from their normal trash. It took a while to catch on, but once the standard suburban "butbutbut my routines!" grumbling died down, it became standard procedure, and where I live we even get the recycling bins from the town at no charge. It's now been something like 15-20 years, and nobody even takes notice of it anymore, we just do it.

If there were, say, one day a month set aside for the garbage trucks to collect old electronics, I'm sure people would appreciate it. I know I would, and so would the owners of my local Dumpsters.

Re:It's already here (1)

mph (7675) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427533)

The governator passed legislation that requires special disposal of the afforementioned products and of course, that disposal requires a fee that the consumer must pay.
I think you're misinformed. Last weekend, I took two CRTs and two UPSs to the e-Waste collection center at my city's landfill, and there was no fee whatsoever. There may be a fee where you live, but I don't think it's mandated by legislation.

Re:It's already here (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427839)

Sounded pretty mandatory last time I read it...

http://www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/ewaste.htm [ca.gov]

Re:It's already here (1)

mph (7675) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427969)

Sounded pretty mandatory last time I read it...
Ah, I see. The law requires a fee to be collected from the consumer at time of purchase. The post I was responding to made it sound like a fee was collected at time of disposal (I still read it that way).

Re:It's already here (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428041)

hmm... were we live (Del Mar( they will take CRTs / TVs for free at the recycling center.

When we lived in Seattle I had to pay $25 each to get rid of 2 dead TVs.

Waste Management... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16428055)

..right..im in "waste management" too

First Sale (3, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427231)

If I sell something, it then belongs to you: you are responsible for its maintenance, use, and disposal, unless otherwise specified in a contract.

When the law starts saying I'm responsible for anything happens to an object I've sold in the future, where does it end? How about people being responsible for their own property?

Re:First Sale (2, Insightful)

pertelote (37736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427333)

Well, when I have the oil changed in my car, the shop charges me for the oil they put in. I bought it, and I use it. Then, when I return 3000 miles later, they take back the oil, charge me for the replacement new oil, and charge me "Environmental" fees to take back the old oil. They tell me that it is the law. So, what do you think?

Re:First Sale (2, Interesting)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427499)

That's different, I think in a subtle but significant way. The law says that oil must be disposed of properly. That's not at all the same as saying that (say) Penzoil is responsible for all the oil they sell.

Whether you're getting your oil changed at the same garage you bought it or a different one, the law applies to whoever is disposing of oil. If you changed it yourself, then you would have to dispose of it properly.

I'd say this is a much better law than one that makes producers responsible for their product after they've sold them.

Re:First Sale (1)

Strolls (641018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428399)

That's different, I think in a subtle but significant way. The law says that oil must be disposed of properly... If you changed it yourself, then you would have to dispose of it properly.
It's not really that different - electronics good contain some pretty nasty stuff [wikipedia.org] , such as lead, zinc, cadmium and mercury. This law is just a way of ensuring that waste electronics goods are disposed of properly the same way as waste motor oil.

You can't require the end user to recycle these electronics materials responsibly because there's no way for them to extract the lead from the solder in the product, and if you start charging people when they deposit an old PC at the tip then they'll just take out the components and put a different PCI card in the bottom of their trash bag for a month - it'll end up in the landfill just like it was in the first place. A law to require the end-user to dispose of electronics goods wouldn't work because it's not enforceable, and because electronics goods contain multiple elements in a way that waste motor oil does not.

Another alternative would be to levy a tax on electronic goods and use it to fund recycling or responsible disposal of electronics goods at local refuse sites, but it would be difficult to tax different products commensurate with their environmental impact or the cost of their disposal. That would also provide no incentive to manufacturers to manufacture goods that are less environmentally harmful.

At the end of the day, it's going to cost money if we want to avoid poisoning the environment. In the case of electronics goods, at least, making manufacturers responsible for the disposal of the goods they produce is the fairest way to ensure that the cost is fair, representative and as low as possible (because it's in the manufacturers' interests to be efficient).

Stroller.

Re:First Sale (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427505)

For that analogy to hold, they'd have to ship the oil back to penzoil/shell/chevron.

There's nothing wrong with regulating the disposal of hazardous wastes. But what the hell's up with this 'Make the manufacturer responsible' crap?

Re:First Sale (1)

hador_nyc (903322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428153)

"Environmental" fees to take back the old oil. They tell me that it is the law. So, what do you think?
I change my own oil in my car, and have to pay the same fee when I dispose of it. The only thing I save is over having the shop do it is the cost of the labor; well that and having my retired mechanic father teasing me if I ever paid someone else to do it! To me, those environmental fees are the same thing as the fees I pay the city for my sewer connection or my garbage pickup.

It might be a reasonable law to require manufacturers to build their products in such a way that it would be easier to recycle them. Maybe a once a month pickup for these trash items would be fair.

Re:First Sale (2, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427617)

Fine. But, the only way to naje this work would be to require people to be responsible for their own property. If you don't take your old computer to a proper waste recycling center (and pay the fee for them to take it off your hands), you go to jail.

Surely you would have no objection to this, after all you are responsible, right?

Re:First Sale (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427685)

Actually yes, that is a much better law. You'll still have to prove that the environmental consequences are worth it.

Re:First Sale (1)

pctainto (325762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427661)

You're looking at this wrong. When you buy the computer, you will be paying for the future disposal of the computer. So, the company is not responsible for disposing of your waste (as in, you can do whatever you want with it and the company won't be at fault if you throw it in a ravine), BUT if you bring the e-waste to them, they are required to dispose of it responsibly -- since you have already paid them to do so.

Currently, hardly anyway disposes of e-waste responsibly because it costs a lot of money to do this.

Re:First Sale (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427753)

I'm really not seeing a difference. Either way, you're forcing the manufacturer to be responsible for the disposal of an item they sell, which will increase their prices.

Re:First Sale (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428209)

Ostensibly the cost to the consumer should be pretty much the same whether the manufacturer is the one being charged, or the consumer is (at the time of purchase) so who cares? If you based the cost on the actual cost of recycling, then the manufacturer will be motivated to make easily-recyclable goods, for which they simply have no motivation today. Making them responsible for their packaging waste would be a good second step. HP sent me like 20 new caps for my trackpoint because the first cap was defective. (It had a different model number, too, so they obviously knew it needed work.) They were inside a ziploc. Inside a bubble wrap bag. Inside a cardboard box with a bunch of syrofoam peanuts. WTF? They could have slipped them into a manila bubble wrap-padded envelope of about 3x5" and mailed it to me. Jackholes.

Ramifications of manufacturing must be controlled (1)

openright (968536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427705)

The waste that consumer items must produce must be controlled. Placing that burdon on the consumer is not realistic and the burdon will fall back to the government.

If consumer items are costing the government money to clean up, then the government should logically and fairly demand that the manufacturer pay for clean up or change correct the product.

Example:
(Cause): I start making and selling disposible Widget-MP3 players, that contain plastic, lead, are preprogrammed with play only music and designed to stop functioning after six weeks.
I sell them for $2 each, and they are a huge success.
(Effect): People are throwing them in the trash, the trash complains that you cannot throw them in the trash. People litter them or just leave them places after they expire. The government has to step in and clean up the mess.

For me to claim that it's not my problem, and consumers are responsible for the waste is not logical. The consumer did not create this disposible item.

Every manufactured can have an affect.
For another example, Coke decides to change from recycled glass bottles to plastic, then the long effect is that the ditches in poor countries (mexico) fill up with the bottles.

Re:Ramifications of manufacturing must be controll (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428287)

For another example, Coke decides to change from recycled glass bottles to plastic, then the long effect is that the ditches in poor countries (mexico) fill up with the bottles.

First of all, that's refillable glass bottles, and last I checked they still used them in Mexico, but it's been a while since I was there. A LONG while actually; it was 3,000 messican pesos to the dollar when I went. But the point is that a soda was, IIRC, 300 pesos with a 600 peso bottle deposit.

Second, assuming they did switch to plastic down there, the reason isn't that they switched to plastic. It's that the government didn't keep up with the times and institute a fat redemption value.

Re:First Sale (1)

JohnDeckard (902737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427711)

It ends when everyone learns to responsibly dispose of hazardous wastes. There should me a mandatory, national recycling program for this but for those who love to privatize everything, I guess this is their solution- send it back to the source.

Re:First Sale (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427789)

The problem with the mandatory national recycling program is that it has the potential to start actual, rational debate and cost/benefit analysis, of which the "environmentalists" are deathly afraid.

Re:First Sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427951)

So let's all do the Libertarian thing, and come around after midnight and chuck into your back yard. As long as you've fallen asleep holding your gun guarding your yard, and as long as it's free of government interference, it MUST be ok - right?

Re:First Sale (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428351)

actual, rational debate and cost/benefit analysis

Cost of disposing of a 20" monitor: $30.

Cost of replacing an extinct species: priceless.

For libertarian rhetoric, there's XanC. For everything else, there's reality.

Remember, ecosystems are complicated and we don't really understand all that great a percentage of what really makes them tick. A lost species is just one species... unless it's one that occupies a critical position in the food chain, or it's the one that would have produced a cure for cancer if we hadn't driven it to extinction, etc etc.

Those who would destroy what they do not understand... those are the fools.

Re:First Sale (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428431)

Thank you for making my point: the enviro-types have NO interest in rational debate, just unsubstantiated fearmongering.

Re:First Sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427977)

you are responsible for its maintenance, use, and disposal, unless otherwise specified in a contract.

The point is that the consumer very often is NOT responsible in the disposal of their toxin-laiden business equipment. What's to preven the consumer from: (1)Using their CRT for target practice, leaving bits of phosphorus and lead coated glass to leach into the soil. (2)Dumping old equipment in the ocean or other body of water because they don't want to pay the fee to properly dispose of the item.

It's nice to think that people are all warm and fuzzy abou the environment, but when it comes to putting in the extra 5 minutes of effort or $10 of expense, forget about it.

Shifting the disposal burden form the consumer to the producer is a wise decision that will force manufacturers to prodcue more envirnmentally-frienfly products in the first placce.

just my $.02

Re:First Sale (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428401)

This argument hasn't worked so well for Big Tobacco, Phen-Fen, Vioxx, and thalidomide.

www.e-waste.com (1)

Zabu (589690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427263)

If you would like to know more about e-waste check www.e-waste.com [myspace.com]

Old News (2, Funny)

obender (546976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427349)

Mandatory Hardware Recycling Coming To US?
But we've had this for years!

Oh wait, it's the United States not us.

A Different Approach (1)

RumGunner (457733) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427351)

Instead of creating huge new regulations, why not simply force manufacturers to stop making machines that contain toxic chemicals? Is it really not possible to make a computer that doesn't contain lead, mercury, or cadmium?

Do you live on Gilligan's Island? (2, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427477)

"Instead of creating huge new regulations, why not simply force manufacturers to stop making machines that contain toxic chemicals? Is it really not possible to make a computer that doesn't contain lead, mercury, or cadmium?"

Tell me, Professor, how fast is the connection on your coconut-and-bamboo computer?

Re:Do you live on Gilligan's Island? (1)

RumGunner (457733) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428225)

Still faster than AOL dial-up.

Re:A Different Approach (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427687)

How would that not be new regulation?

Re:A Different Approach (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428099)

they're working on that (ROHS, Reduction Of Hazardous Substances or something), but it takes time. lead-based solder is being phased out, mercury is still necessary for some things, such as fluorescent tubes (which are used in most LCDs), though those are being replaced by other technologies (LED back-lights, OLED displays, etc.)

nothing is instant.

Re:A Different Approach (1)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428119)

There already *are* regulations for that.... like WEEE and ROHS.
Did you RTFA ?
These regulations provides exceptions for appliances that need parts that can only be built with toxic material for which there is no functional substitute; but there is a clear incentive to use non-toxic materials whenever possible.

Upside to paying rent (3, Insightful)

nickheart (557603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427385)

Not that this effects apartment dwellers. I see TVs, radio, computers, computer monitors, used engine oil... all sorts of stuff in our apartment complexes dumpster. I can't imagine how Rhos is going to effect the end-users (corps have to follow the law, peeps just hide) unless we the consumer can dispose properly of our parts for less effort than it takes to walk down to the dumpster at 11pm. The only reason i recycle my HP ink cartridges is because they include than handy prepaid envelope to send it back - less effort to just put it in the outgoing mail bin, then take it down to the trash.

Look at the upside... (1)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427571)

For some reason I'm starting to picture companies giving employees old hardware to get rid of it.

Beowulf cluster, here I come!

It makes sense (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427389)

This is one of the constitutional enumerated powers of the federal government, right?

Does This Apply To Foreign Manufacturers? (3, Insightful)

cmholm (69081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427465)

The article doesn't make this clear. If it only applies to domestically produced electronics, watch how fast the remainder of non-defence production gets moved overseas.

Re:Does This Apply To Foreign Manufacturers? (2, Informative)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428243)

If foreign manufacturers want to sell it on the EU market, they have to accept the EU rules of business.
(You can substitute "EU" with "US" or "South Africa" or any other nation.)
They could always choose to not do business... but that's unlikely :-)

Sony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427525)

Sony is screwed if this passes.

if it costs money or is a pain in the ass (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427559)

I will do what i do normally, bury it in the regular trash and be done with it.

Re:if it costs money or is a pain in the ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427797)

Then you are an asshole.

Re:if it costs money or is a pain in the ass (1)

BSOD DOC (1008507) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428227)

Amen.

Re:if it costs money or is a pain in the ass (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428309)

No doubt it will cost you money, but you will have to pay it up front when you buy the hardware.

Mfrs. "taking back their stuff?" (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427615)

I don't know who thinks up these kinds of ideas--idealists, I suppose. But practically speaking, many hardware manufacturers no longer exist. This is likely to corelate highly with the percentage of obsolete equipment. Orphaned into a bureaucratic cul-de-sac...

tGa3o (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16427667)

developers GjNAA (GAY NIIGER

Guaranteed $25.00 to Dell? (1)

Ruvim (889012) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427677)

Does it mean that I will now be REQUIRED to pay a $25.00 recycling fee whenever I purchase a new PC from Dell?

Re:Guaranteed $25.00 to Dell? (1)

B_un1t (942155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427863)

why are you buying from Dell??

Re:Guaranteed $25.00 to Dell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16428191)

Weird. The option was always free when I went through configurations. It only cost money when its for like 8 PCs.

City of Minneapolis (MN, USA) already recycles (1)

kcbnac (854015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427749)

Electronics

This item collected on recycling week only. Limit of two (2) large items per recycling week. Place next to the garbage cart on the recycling day. Please post a sign or write on the item "Please Take". Item will be picked up on next business day after recycling day.

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/solid-waste/what-t o-do-E.asp#P29_687 [minneapolis.mn.us]

We keep a pile by one door (along with all our other recycling) of things pre-tagged with "Please Take" - recycling week comes, I haul two out along with everything else before I leave for work in the morning.

CRT's (2, Insightful)

Ponga (934481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427885)

I think the biggest thing in the coming years (if not already) will be what to do with CRT monitors that are being replaced with LCD and other tech. Seems only this past week I've had several people ask me if want some 17" CRT's cuz they just upgraded to flat panals.

What about .... (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16427965)

What about smaller computer shops? Surely to god a three person shop which assembles the computers themselves won't be able to implement a recycling program.

At which point, are they exempt due to some threshold? Or does this get extended to the component manufacturers?

It's good in principal, but there could be quite a few which fall through the cracks. (Not that we should abandon an attempt to prevent most of the computers from going into the landfill because a few smaller players won't be able to do it.)

Cheers

Re:What about .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16428223)

I'm in a four person shop and we give all of our old crap to a recyling company that takes it all for free. They have a few contracts with larger businesses to haul away various technology junk from computers to floresent lights AND they make money selling the scrap.

What about frankinmachine (3, Insightful)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428105)

I have a machine with a Proliant Main and back plane
It has IBM SCSII Hard Drives
Its RAM is from who knows where
Its Nic's... 3-COM, Intel, Winbond
It's Fans... Who knows

Who do I send it back to?
Or do I have to break it into its pieces and send it all back where it came from.

What If I want to keep it forever?
I still have my Northstar (and yes it still works)
I have 4 meg sims (actually sold 3 today to a client for the printer)

I hope it doesn't become mandatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16428271)

Where will I get my extra computers? :-(

Great... (1)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16428433)

So what do we think is going to happen here? Do we think businesses will just eat the cost of having to recycle all this old crap?

Of course not.

Hardware prices will simply increase for consumers. Fun.
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