Study on State Patchwork of Electronics Recycling Laws Shows Significant Impact of ‘'Dead Weight' Costs

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The National Electronics Recycling Information Clearinghouse (NERIC) is releasing today a report titled “A Study of the State-by-State E-Waste Patchwork” at the E-Scrap 2006 conference in Austin, Texas. The study is a first-ever effort to identify and quantify the existing and potential economic effects of the ever-expanding patchwork of state-level electronics recycling requirements on industry, government and consumers. The study projects recurring dead weight costs associated with a future 20-state “mega-patchwork” of differing state requirements to be $125 million per year.

The National Electronics Recycling Information Clearinghouse (NERIC) is releasing today a report titled “A Study of the State-by-State E-Waste Patchwork” at the E-Scrap 2006 conference in Austin, Texas. The study is a first-ever effort to identify and quantify the existing and potential economic effects of the ever-expanding patchwork of state-level electronics recycling requirements on industry, government and consumers. It analyzes the effect of legislation already passed and enacted in the four mandatory state programs to date – California, Maine, Maryland, and Washington, and projects costs for the future.

Drawing from estimates provided by principal public and private sector entities in state electronics recycling programs, the study identifies “dead weight” costs that would not be present with the introduction and implementation of a national electronics recycling program. Recurring dead weight costs of the four existing state-legislated programs are estimated at $25 million per year. At the present implementation rate of one new state mandated program per year, recurring dead weight costs are expected to increase substantially during the coming years. The study projects recurring dead weight costs associated with a future 20-state “mega-patchwork” of differing state requirements to be $125 million per year.

Jason Linnell, Executive Director of the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER), which authored the study, said “This study proves that the current ‘patchwork’ of different approaches to electronics recycling is indeed having an economic impact on all stakeholders.”

Data to support the above findings were gathered by NCER through interviews with government and industry stakeholders involved in the administration and implementation of state e-waste programs.

To view the State Patchwork Study in its entirety as well as other reports produced by the NCER under the National Electronics Recycling Infrastructure Clearinghouse initiative, go to http://www.ecyclingresource.org.

NERIC is a program administered by the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) and jointly funded by the federal MARCEE (Mid Atlantic Recycling Center for End-of-life Electronics) project and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®). More information on the NERIC initiative is available at info @ ecyclingresource.org.

The National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2005 and located in Davisville, West Virginia. The NCER is dedicated to the development and enhancement of a national infrastructure for the recycling of used electronics in the U.S. For more information on the NCER, visit http://www.electronicsrecycling.org/ncer.

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Jason Linnell
NCER
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