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Recycling Analog Televisions

April 27, 2009

AUSTIN – In preparation for the final transition to digital television on June 12, local and state government officials met with environmental activists at the state Capitol on Wednesday to support legislation that would make television manufacturers responsible for recycling of their products.

Zack Braunstein of the Texas Campaign for the Environment listens as speakers talk about a program to recycle televisions. (Andrew Rogers/The Daily Texan)

Two bills in the legislature stipulate that TV manufacturers must establish and be accountable for a television recycling plan to remove the burden of recycling from the local government and to ensure discarded televisions don’t end up in landfills.

The bills emulate the Computer TakeBack Law by mirroring its provision that retailers cannot sell the product without an approved recycling plan.

State Rep. David Leibowitz, the author of the House bill, said it was important to craft legislation to address the unique characteristics of televisions.

“The number of TVs that will be thrown away in the coming years is too great to ignore,” said Leibowitz, D-San Antonio. “The Computer TakeBack Law was a right step in the environmental responsibility and green direction, and the passage of the TV TakeBack Law will be a continuation of steps we took in the last session and put us in the right place.”

Robin Schneider, executive director of Texas Campaign for the Environment, said lead and other retardants in older televisions threaten to reach the water table when left in landfills. Schneider hopes that passage of the bill will encourage manufacturers to design more environmentally friendly televisions.


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