Thursday, May 28, 2009

Export Bill Faces Unlikely Opponents

A bill to restrict the export of potentially hazardous electronic waste was introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) on May 22nd, but is already facing some unlikely opposition. Several environmental watchdog agencies have pounced on House Resolution 2595, claiming the measure contains significant loopholes that would undermine current efforts by companies, such as Dell, to manage e-scrap responsibly.

"The idea was originally to ban e-waste exports," said Electronics TakeBack Coalition National Coordinator Barbara Kyle. "We want Congress to act on this issue, but this bill contains a big loophole that allows for items to be exported for repair and refurbishment."

Developing countries heavily rely on used and refurbished computer and IT equipment for their economic, educational and medical needs; however, repeated instances of non-working and waste electronics being exported under a dubious refurbishability claims have soured many in the environmental community on the practice.

"Of course we're in favor of re-use and refurbishment," explained Kyle, "but we'd like to see a bill that supports it in the U.S. It would be a way to provide good jobs for Americans and ensure that countries get the working units they need."


Source: E-Scrap News, May 27th, 2009