State Passes Nation's Most Comprehensive Electronics Recycling Law

Washington became the first state to require manufacturers to fully finance and organize the collection, transportation, and recycling of their electronic products at no charge to consumers. Products covered include televisions, computers, and computer monitors.

Washington is the fourth state to set up a state-mandated recycling system financed either directly by manufacturers or by collecting fees on sales of their products.

By 2010, more than 70 million computers per year are projected to be sold annually in the United States, with nearly half a million obsolete computers containing toxic materials projected to require management each year in the state of Washington alone.

The bill signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire received bipartisan support and requires manufacturers to have their recycling programs in place throughout Washington no later than January 1, 2009. The bill also received support from a coalition of governments, charities, retailers, electronics manufacturers, and environmental advocates.

Members of the group include computer manufacturer Hewlett Packard, the Washington Retailers Association, Washington Citizens for Resource Conservation, the Washington Environmental Council, Seattle and Tacoma Goodwills, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and several local governments.