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e Waste Disposal Laws

January 21st, 2013 · No Comments

Today, many nations entact the e waste disposal laws to regulate e waste disposal. e Waste management is the most salient issue.

America is one of the largest electronic waste producing nations with an approximate 400 million electronic items discarded every year. What remains a greater concern is the disposal of this electronic waste. Also referred to as eScrap or eWaste, these may include both domestic and commercial electronic devices ranging from mobile phones and DVD players, to laptops and industrial printers that are often dumped as junk. Although some items are often recycled for reuse, statistics reveal that only about 20% of the dumped eWaste is actually re utilized.

e waste disposal

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What, therefore, logically follows is the proper disposal of this waste, which is also termed as eWaste management. Management of such waste is crucial because most electronic devices have a significant presence of hazardous elements such as Cadmium, Lead, Silicon and other contaminants that pose serious health risks with threats of environmental pollution. eWaste management, therefore, has become one of the most salient issues for both developed as well as developing countries, with nations enacting stringent laws to regulate its disposal.

Federal Laws

A number of bills and enactments have been introduced to regulate the disposal of hazardous solid waste. These include the National Computer Recycling Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act. Industry associations also have been actively lobbying for an effective Federal law to contain eWaste. In association with the Department of Energy, these eWaste disposal mechanisms have been strengthened by the Green Energy Education Act that grants funds to educational institutes to promote healthy eWaste disposal.

State Laws

An active role is being played at the state level, to curb hazardous eWaste disposal. Over 25 states have their own eWaste disposal bans that prohibit any sort of landfill disposals for discarded electronic items. A major Act in this regard is California’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act, which levies a fee on every electronic device to cover its cost of recycling. Massachusetts was the first state to ban eWaste disposal in land fills. Other enactments include Maine Public Law, Colorado Acts of Cell Phone Takeback and Recycling, Electronic Recycling Law of Connecticut, Environmental Law of Indiana and Maryland’s Statewide Electronics Recycling Program. Apart from these, a number of other enactments and amendments have been made to regulate eWaste disposal.

On the whole, the above mentioned laws intend the following:


Laws no longer permit dumping electronic devices as trash. Ideally, each electronic item should be categorized and taken to an eWaste recycling collection centre. Devices such as computers, DVDs, mobile phones and routers need to be categorized under home, personal and other electronics for disposal. Batteries need to be disposed off separately from the devices.


This is considered ideal when the device discarded is in a workable condition and fit for use. Donating items to needy persons and organizations would mean reuse in its ideal sense.

Take backs and Advance Recovery Fees

Many electronic companies such as Toshiba, Gateway and Staples, allow receiving old devices from customers, as part of their extended producer responsibility for recycling and safe disposal. Some also levy an advance recovery fee to cover recycling costs.


A large part of the eWaste is shipped off to nations in Asia and Africa for their recycling and disposal.

Consumer Education

The whole idea behind such programs will fail if the consumer falls short of his responsibility. Awareness programs and community disposal events should be organized to inculcate healthy eWaste disposal habits and ensure a community free of such dumped items. The main idea behind eWaste disposal is threefold- to reduce, reuse and recycle eWaste.


Tags: Recycling