Minnesota House of Representatives

Menu

Public Information Services Menu

Modifications proposed for e-waste

Published (4/29/2011)
By Sue Hegarty
Share on: 



Since the Electronics Recovery Act was enacted in 2007, there’s been no shortage of electronics to recycle. But as people replace their old gadgets with newer models, the law needs to keep pace with the types and sizes of electronics.

HF1471, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), would modify the law by creating a longer list of electronic devices required to be collected at the end of their useful life. For example, desktop computers and printers, DVD players and digital video recorders would also count toward a manufacturer’s recycling obligation. Only televisions, monitors and laptop computers are currently used to determine how much a manufacturer must collect. And the minimum screen size on video display devices required to be recycled would drop from 9 inches to 7 inches.

The bill was approved by the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee April 27 and sent to the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee. Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Mpls) sponsors the companion, SF1237, which awaits action by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Manufacturers are required to collect and recycle a percentage of the products they sell in Minnesota. The calculation is an estimation of what they expect to sell during the current year based on the previous year’s sales. The proposed modification would require them to recycle based only on the previous sales year and not on their estimated current sales.

There are currently 73 manufacturers registered under the program. The additional devices would add about 20 more, according to Garth Hickle, electronic waste program coordinator for the Pollution Control Agency.

It became illegal to put electronics in the waste stream in 2006. Proponents of the law say this has led to people disposing of devices in ditches and lakes to avoid paying disposal fee. However, some committee members noted the bill doesn’t guarantee free collection for consumers. Some counties charge a fee while others don’t. Rep. John Persell (DFL-Bemidji) said, “That’s between you and your county commissioner. Take it up with your county.”

Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt said the entire cost to counties that collect materials may not be covered. If a fee is charged, it is likely less than it was before the program was in place, she said.

Session Weekly More...


Session Weekly Home



Related Stories


Minnesota Index: Enjoying the outdoors
Facts and statistics on state parks and trails
(view full story) Published 4/20/2012

Minnesota Index: Birding
Facts and statistics on birding in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 4/6/2012

A prickly situation
Farmers seek fair fight against noxious weeds
(view full story) Published 3/16/2012

Angling for more participation
DNR looks for ways to get more anglers and hunters into the great outdoors
(view full story) Published 3/2/2012

Meeting halfway
Environment and energy law packs policy changes
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Legacy bill brought back to life
More than $449 million appropriated from voter-approved sales tax increase
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Trees from start to finish
Environment finance bill would close tree nursery
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Legacy spending differences
Conference committee needed to determine parks and trails funding
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Less means more
Some Legacy recipients may see increases despite drop in appropriation percentages
(view full story) Published 4/29/2011

Minnesota Index: Outdoor Heritage Fund
Facts and statistics on the Outdoor Heritage Fund
(view full story) Published 4/29/2011

Environment bill reflects ‘priorities’
House addresses wild rice, harvesting timber and closing of state parks
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Putting a stop to aquatic invasive species
Broader enforcement, stiffer penalties proposed for violators
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Wild rice study proposed
Committee approves policies for wild rice, state parks
(view full story) Published 3/25/2011

Should Minnesotans be hunting for land?
Legislators aim for no-net-loss and no-net-gain targets
(view full story) Published 3/4/2011

Minnesota Index: Horticulture and agriculture
Figures and statistics on horticulture and agriculture in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 3/4/2011

At Issue: Leaving a legacy
Recipients report outcomes of dedicated tax appropriations
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011

Public Information Services  ·   175 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155   ·   Public.Information@house.mn