Washington's New E-Waste Regulations

Law Seminars International

Renaissance Hotel — Seattle, WA

September 25, 2006

Millions of televisions and computer monitors containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are stockpiled in homes and businesses, and an estimated 10,000 computers become obsolete every day. CRTs contain approximately four pounds of lead and other toxic metals. In addition, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors and laptop computers contain hazardous amounts of toxic metals. The Department of Ecology estimates that more than 4.5 million computer processing units, 3.5 million television monitors and 1.5 million flat panel computer screens will become obsolete between 2003 and 2010. In response to this growing hazardous waste crisis, the state of Washington passed ground-breaking legislation in March 2006. The new law establishes a mandatory state-wide collection and recycling program for computers, monitors and televisions to be funded by product manufacturers. It requires electronics recycling, and encourages manufacturers to design and produce electronic products that are less toxic and more easily reused or recycled. This workshop brings together some of Washington's and the nation's key players in the ongoing E-Waste debate. We will examine Washington's E-Waste law, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as other proposed solutions for managing the waste created when an electronic product reaches the end of its useful life. Those representing the interests of electronic product manufacturers and retailers, waste management companies, recyclers, hazardous materials handlers and processors and governmental or regulatory officials will surely want to attend.

You will learn about key provisions of Washington's E-Waste program, critical lessons from jurisdictions beyond Washington, the interplay with federal regulations, the environmental perspective, the manufacturer's perspective, and the government's implementation plan.

Marlys Palumbo co-chaired the event and also moderated the discussion "Implementation Issues and Strategies for Local Governments."

Bill Frick gave an "Update on Federal Government Activity as a Regulatory Body and a Waste Generator."

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