A bill that seeks to require only third-party-certified recyclers to handle computer and television recycling under Texas’s extended producer responsibility laws for these devices has passed the Texas House of Representatives’ Environmental Regulation Committee by a vote of 9-0.
House Bill 3465, sponsored by Rep. Dwayne Bohac, has been designed to reduce the materials being sent overseas and to increase collection totals for Texas-based electronics recyclers by requiring recyclers participating in manufacturer take-back programs to be certified to either the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) or e-Stewards standards.
“This is an important step towards making sure that the laws we passed on e-waste recycling actually promote recycling, not dumping,” says Robin Schneider, executive director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment. “Electronic waste is too hazardous and too valuable to leave to fly-by-night operators. This bill ensures a certain level of professionalism prevails in our e-cycling sector here in Texas.”
The bill is part of a comprehensive legislative push by Texas Campaign for the Environment to improve the state’s electronic scrap laws. According to the Texas Campaign for the Environment, 56 percent of manufacturers reporting under the state’s TV and computer recycling laws do not identify their recyclers and have not indicated any standards or expectations that these companies be certified.
The bill is slated to go before the House Calendars Committee, where supporters say it will be scheduled for a vote soon.
“We are confident that we will see a better, more effective system for electronics recycling after this session thanks to the involvement of thousands of Texans who want to protect the land and water while creating good jobs,” Schneider says. “We have members in every single legislative district and we have found support in every region and across party and ideological lines.”