Texas Governor Passes Statewide Television Recycling Law

Bill earns praise from some recycling advocates and businesses.

Gov. Rick Perry has signed Senate Bill 329, also known as the television take-back law, which orders manufacturers to accept and recycle TVs at the end of their useful lives.
Environmentalists, local government leaders and recycling businesses in favor of the new law say it will keep toxic materials such as lead and mercury out of landfills and water sources.

The bill requires manufacturers that sell TVs in Texas to offer free, convenient recycling programs for Texas residents. The Consumer Electronics Association, which represents more than 2,000 electronics companies, supported the bill—marking the first time this trade association has supported any state producer takeback recycling law. Other business groups, local governments, recycling businesses and faith-based organizations also supported the bill, according to the Texas Campaign for the Environment.

Robin Schneider, Texas Campaign for the Environment executive director, says, “We applaud Gov. Perry for signing the TV take-back recycling bill into law. This bill is the long-awaited companion to the computer take-back law that Gov. Perry signed in 2007. TV take back in Texas is long overdue, so this law is a crucial step toward bringing free and convenient recycling to all Texans. That said, there’s still work to be done.”

In a press release, officials from the Texas Campaign for the Environment say, an estimated 25 million televisions are disposed of each year in the U.S. Cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions contain several pounds of lead, and most new flat-screen TVs contain mercury bulbs. Less than one in every five old TVs is recycled, according to the organization.

Ed Janecka, Fayette County judge, says, “This law will help every county in the state of Texas. This is just the right thing to do. Work crews will no longer have to pick up electronics off of roadsides and creek beds. We thank the governor  and the  state legislature for listening to Texas businesses, retailers, recyclers and residents. We also appreciate the hard work and dedication put forth by Texas Campaign for the Environment in its pursuit to better recycling in our state.”