Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced the Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act. The legislation will create competitive research grants for reducing the environmental impact of discarded electronic devices and promote the recycling of these devices through R&D projects.
“Recycling electronic waste is a win-win for our economy and our environment,” said Congressman Sarbanes, “It reduces the environmental impact of high tech manufacturing, reduces cost, and makes U.S. companies less dependent on foreign suppliers of minerals and other materials.”
• The bill authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award grants to reduce the environmental impact of discarded electronic devices and promote the recycling of these devices through R&D projects.
• The bill calls for a study on the barriers to recycling of discarded electronic devices.
• It also authorizes EPA to award grants to colleges and universities for curriculum development in the areas of recycling electronic devices and enabling environmentally friendly designs.
The implementation of the best practices expected to be derived from this bill will reduce waste overall, and allow American manufacturers to become less dependent on foreign suppliers of mineral resources and other materials needed for electronic manufacturing. One example of recycled e-waste would be the recapture of rare raw materials required for manufacture of semiconductors, hybrid electric cars, wind turbines, computer display screens and other high tech products. The vast majority of these raw materials are currently mined in China and the largest domestic deposits are found in American landfills.
“Business owners recognize that the future of manufacturing in America will be based on innovation and sustainable processes,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Everywhere I go in my district people are talking about green businesses and sustainability. This legislation will help American companies stay competitive in the new, green economy and provide opportunities for job growth at existing businesses and set the stage for new companies to emerge.”
Sarbanes will visit E-Structors, a company pioneering electronics recycling, in July.