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E-Waste Recycling Law Signed in South Carolina

May 21st, 2010 · 2 Comments

SC Gov Mark Sanford signed HB 4093 to encourage electronic waste recycling to drastically reduce the amount of e-waste. E-waste recycling law South Carolina

South Carolina has joined the ranks of about 20 or so states that have enacted laws to encourage and promote electronic waste recycling. SC Governor Mark Sanford recently signed HB 4093, a bill specifically crafted to encourage statewide recycling and to significantly reduce the amount of e-waste that gets dumped in the state’s landfills.

In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Governor Sanford praised the legislation and gave credit to the authors of the new law:

“This is a commonsense way to promote more recycling and reuse of electronic devices, and to discourage the disposal of environmentally harmful materials in our landfills. I’d give credit to Senator Paul Campbell and Representatives Jeff Duncan and David Hiott for their work and advocacy on that front.”

The new law, which will be implemented by the South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control mandates that manufacturers who are doing business within the state provide free recycling and recovery program for computers, laptops, TV sets, and CRT monitors.

Electronic waste has been a cause for concern in many states, owing to the rapid turnover rate of these devices as emerging technology renders old units obsolete in a few months’ or years’ time. As a result, landfills are inundated with tons of electronic scrap which are far more valuable recycled than landfilled.

Others have taken advantage of this virtual avalanche of electronic junk by shipping the e-waste to countries like China where these are dismantled manually for the scrap metals and other materials that they contain. As the Basel Action Network pointed out, scrapping these items in primitive settings is patently dangerous to the environment and to the health of the workers. A single CRT monitor, for example, can contain 5-7 lbs. of lead and needs to be handled in well-equipped recycling facilities.

A major solution that has been put forward is to make the manufacturers responsible for the proper disposal and recycling of their products. The current law in SC, which is being supported by diverse groups like the Sierra Club and computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard, aims to do implement this exact solution – to compel manufacturers like HP to take care of the e-waste.

E-waste recycling is considered to be a major boon to manufacturers by keeping materials within the production stream. It also helps protect the environment by keeping heavy metals and toxic substances found in the scrap from the landfills.

As Gov. Sanford said:

“This bill represents a simple recognition of the fact that we are stewards of the natural heritage we’ve been given, and that as a consequence we have an obligation to protect that heritage.”

Great job, South Carolina legislators and Governor Sanford on the passage of this new e-waste recycling law!

Tags: News

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Backpacking Jaime // Jun 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

    One step at a time….

    By the way, I love those electronic “recycling” bins that are put in placed all over the malls. I even brought a whole bag of electronic junk when I went back.

  • 2 Glass Bottles // Jun 16, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Iam not sure that many people realize how big of win this was for South Carolina. This has been something no one would touch for a long while!