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 user 2007-06-12 at 2:23:00 pm Views: 53
  • #18273

    Dell pushes Texas e-cycling law
    Texas proposal would force vendors to accept and recycle used equipment.
    manufacturers will have to collect and recycle outdated PCs — but not
    TVs — from consumers in Texas, according to a bill working its way
    through the state legislature that could become a model for other
    states.According to the legislation, called House Bill 2714,
    manufacturers would have to place a sticker on any computer or monitor
    they wanted to sell in the state, informing consumers that they may
    return the equipment to the vendor for recycling or reuse without
    paying an additional fee. Each manufacturer would then have to file an
    annual report to state regulators listing the weight of computer
    equipment they have recycled or reused.

    PCs and computer
    peripherals put out in curbside trash end up in landfills, where they
    can leach lead, mercury and other toxins into the environment.”Texans
    generate a massive amount of ‘e-waste’ every year — enough to threaten
    to overwhelm our landfills, let alone poison our air or water. But I
    believe that if we partner with manufacturers who are increasingly
    concerned about the issue, we can find a better home for our aging
    computers and iPods,” said the bill’s sponsor, Texas state Senator Kirk
    Watson, in a statement on his Web site.The bill passed votes in the
    state Senate and House of Representatives in May and awaits a signature
    from Texas Governor Rick Perry. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office
    confirmed on Friday that Perry had received the bill, but said he had
    not yet announced whether he would sign it by the June 17 deadline.

    the bill’s smooth progress through the Texas statehouse, some recycling
    experts warn that it is incomplete.The bill has a good fiscal
    structure, since it assigns environmental responsibility to the PC
    manufacturer instead of the consumer, the state or the landfill
    operator, said Ted Smith, senior strategist for the .But the bill is
    flawed because it focuses only on PCs and their peripherals, instead of
    covering a wider array of electronic equipment.”We prefer the ‘producer
    responsibility’ approach rather than the consumer fee approach, so that
    part we like,” Smith said. “However, the Texas bill only applies to
    computers and not to TVs — this is a major weakness and is as a result
    of Dell’s lobbying position. TVs are just as toxic and problematic as
    computers and we favor a comprehensive approach that covers both.”

    Inc. has a major corporate presence in the state, since the world’s
    second-largest PC vendor has headquarters in Round Rock, just outside
    of the state capital of Austin. On Friday, Dell denied opposing the
    inclusion of television sets in the law, but said that TVs do not fit
    easily into standard PC recycling streams because they include
    different components than computers and have a far longer
    lifecycle.”Our focus was ‘Let’s make sure that IT and consumer
    electronics get in there, and if legislators want to put other
    electronics in the mix, that would be fine with us.’ But what we didn’t
    want to do was to slow or stall the process of the legislation,” said
    Dell spokeswoman Colleen Ryan.In fact, if the law passes in its current
    form, it would have no impact on Dell’s current recycling policies,
    since the company already offers worldwide free recycling of used Dell
    equipment, she said.”Our take is that the marketplace is best
    positioned to address recycling, and that the legislature shouldn’t
    collect fees or create new government infrastructure for recycling. We
    think Texas is an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the

    Dell is now working with policymakers in several other
    states to create the same type of “market-driven” approach to
    recycling, including electronics recycling bills now pending in North
    Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Tennessee, she said.
    Those bills have a different model than existing laws in California,
    Maine, Maryland and Washington, which impose taxes on consumers or fees
    on vendors in order to fund government programs that administer the
    recycling programs, she said.Despite the criticism of its lobbying
    efforts, Dell has announced a handful of recycling and power-efficiency
    iniatives in recent days. On Friday, Dell said that the EPEAT
    government procurement awarded its highest rating to Dell’s Latitude
    D630 notebook PC, as well as the OptiPlex 740 and 745 desktops. Dell
    also announced a plan on Tuesday to reduce the carbon intensity of its
    global operations by 15 percent by 2012, helping reduce the amount of
    greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.”We ultimately think
    this [state bill] is the simplest, most effective way to recycle
    outdated electronics, and we hope the governor sees it the same way,”
    Ryan said.