Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao signed into law the "Recycling Waste Electrical and Electronic Products Ordinance," being compared by some to the European Union's WEEE Directive.
The new law, based on draft legislation released last summer, appears to cover (here is a Google translation for a FAQ for the law) most electronic and electrical equipment from TVs to air conditioners, though it does not offer a full list of covered devices.
The ordinance also surprisingly acknowledges the country's infamous workshops, noting the environmental damage done by the open burning and acid baths used in metals recovery at the workshops. Further, it reportedly bans any such demanufacturing methods.
A special fund — the National Electronics Discarded Electrical Products Treatment Fund — is set up to pay for the regulation of the end-of-life electronic and electrical goods, to be financed by fees levied on manufacturers and importers of electronic goods. Sellers of consumer electronics appear to be on the hook to provide drop-off locations.
The ordinance will come into effect January 1, 2011.
Source: E-Scrap News, March 12, 2009