Texas Campaign for the Environment: News
MEDIA RELEASE: May 20, 2008
Unusual Display of Support for Electronic Waste Recycling Unveiled
DALLAS – In a room covered wall to wall and floor to ceiling with the signatures of thousands of North Texans—and with tens of thousands more overflowing throughout the space—environmental advocates called on the state environmental agency to adopt standards that would prevent old computers from being dumped on developing countries.
“No one disputes the fact that computers are toxic,” said Jeffrey Jacoby, North Texas Staff Director for Texas Campaign for the Environment. “These signatures represent the voices of Texans who want to make sure these potentially hazardous components are recycled properly, not ending up in backyard scrap operations in Africa or Asia.”
D/FW staff director Jeff Jacoby
Tomorrow, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will vote to finalize the rules for the Texas Computer TakeBack Law (HB 2714), which goes into effect on September 1, 2008. On that date, computer-makers that do business in Texas will have to take back old PCs and monitors for free and convenient recycling. With state legislators across the Metroplex and statewide weighing in on the issue, the activists argue that the legislation was intended to address e-waste export.
“The law’s intent was to keep these toxic products out of the dump, both at home and overseas,” Jacoby said. “State legislators in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Travis and Bexar Counties have written letters to TCEQ to reiterate the point: Texas e-waste should not become the toxic trash of our economically disadvantaged neighbors in the global community. Thousands upon thousands of Texans have sent letters and signed on to support environmentally responsible recycling practices which, as yet, TCEQ has not addressed. The message is loud, trans-partisan and crystal clear. Pardon the expression, but it’s time for the commission to read the writing on the wall.”
Legislators, environmental groups, local government officials, recyclers and some computer makers have urged the TCEQ to use the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Plug-In to eCycling Guidelines, as the State of Connecticut is doing for its producer responsibility program. Developed in 2004, the guidelines have not yet been codified into federal law. The rules adoption hearing for HB 2714 is tomorrow, May 21, at TCEQ headquarters in Austin at 9:30 a.m.
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