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US Senator urges quick passage of e-waste bill

September 26, 2011

Sherrod Brown has called for the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act to be signed through to stop the flow of e-waste abroad.

Brown, who previously put the bill forward to the US Senate earlier this year, is aiming to stop the practise of e-waste dumping in developing nations. Many US and European companies illegally transport their e-waste to such countries, where it is broken down to usable parts in dangerous and toxic conditions.

Brown’s act would stop this from happening in the United States, and would also promote the domestic recycling of e-waste, something that the Basel Action Network has gradually been achieving with its e-Steward campaigns.

The Washington Post and Waste Management World have reported that the US government is “considering new rules”, but the act itself has not been signed into law nor discussed in the senate as yet.

Brown has noted that the US Government Accountability Office “recently determined that most of these receiving countries lack the capacity to safely recycle and dispose of electronic waste”.

"By using U.S. companies instead of exporting e-waste, the Administration would foster domestic innovation and allow businesses to create good-paying, clean energy jobs," Brown explained.

"This bill is common sense. My legislation would spur economic development, lessen environmental threats to public health, and reduce the number of counterfeit electronics in the U.S."

Brown's bill is supported by OEMs including HP, Dell and Samsung, along with retailer Best Buy and a host of recyclers from across the US.