E-waste recycling law passes major milestone

California has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to public sustainability programs, and the state's e-waste recycling law recently exceeded a large milestone. California's electronic waste recycling program has collected over 1 billion pounds of computer waste and has prevented over 20 million TV sets, computers and other media devices from ending up in local landfills. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the state was the first in the United States to pass a comprehensive e-waste law, and it has become a model for the rest of the country to follow.

"In the six short years this program has been operating, California has really gotten on board with e-waste recycling," Jeff Hunts, e-waste program manager for the state's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, told the new source. "People are understanding it's hazardous and needs to be managed responsibly."

While the program is still a major step forward for the state, it still has its share of shortcomings. The initiative will only allow individuals to recycle TVs, laptops and old computer monitors which leaves a large group of consumer electronics, such as old VCRs, printers and cell phones, that still collect dust. California charges between $6 and $10 to recycle old products, which goes to recycling and collection organizations such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries.

In the future, many Californians hope to cover a larger range of devices to make it easier for residents to dispose of their old electronics. The combination of state assistance has worked wonders, but there are still too many devices falling through the cracks. As of now, the e-waste recycling law has been an efficient way to keep a large amount of products out of landfills, but a comprehensive solution is needed to make a lasting difference for the environment.