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Improving E-Waste Recycling in Kentucky: Policy Options and Implications(Liz Edmundson)

This information was taken directly from the article by Liz Edmundson, staff attorney for KRC, Center For Environmental Policy)

Managing e-waste is challenging given the number of substances contained in devices, the constantly fluctuating values in the commodities market, and the fact that recyclers can often experience increases in costs that make it uneconomical to recycle certain products. While many states are struggling to adapt their e-waste laws to fit the changing dynamics of e-waste, several principles are essential in designing sound e-waste management policies:

-The management of e-waste will require governments to develop legal, policy, and regulatory frameworks to ensure the effective management of e-waste.

-The successful management of e-waste depends on coordination among multiple stakeholders, including manufacturers, consumers, recyclers, and government. All stakeholders should be involved in the policy development process.

-Electronics users must have an incentive to reuse, refurbish, or recycle their products, and drop off locations or other avenues for e-waste collection must be easily accessible. If there is a monetary or time cost and no incentive, mandate, or penalty, there is a low likelihood that consumers will participate in the program.

-E-waste policies should ensure that e-waste management is done in an environmentally sound manner and avoids impacts to human health and human rights.

-Policies should promote the efficient use of resources by first encouraging the reduction of waste, then the direct reuse or products through refurbishment and repair, then the recycling and recovery of materials, and only when there is no alternative, the safe disposal of e-waste.

-Policies should consider the appropriate funding sources for the program, which might include producers, consumers, government, other sources, or a combination of these. Most policies in the United States are based upon the “Extended Producer Responsibility” model that places the responsibility on the manufacturer, but there are others.

-Policies should ensure that e-waste is managed by companies qualified to conduct the relevant activities and able to comply with the policies of the program.

-Any policy should set realistic targets for the collection, reuse, and recycling of e-waste and put programs into place to ensure that these results can be tracked and measured.

-The results of the program should be reviewed regularly and modified as needed to achieve the set goals.

-Education programs are essential to ensure that electronics users are aware of the problems associated with e-waste, are educated about responsible consumption and options for re-use and refurbishment and are aware of the programs available to safely unload their unwanted electronics. Consider partnering with retailers and manufacturers to do this. Include programs targeting education and participation among school-aged children and university students.

Electronic Waste Vendors in Kentucky

Are you looking old electronics beyond repair and you need to take them to the the right place for disposal? Learn who which electronic waste vendor is closest to you:

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