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E-waste bills move ahead in California

In California on Monday, two bills targeting obsolete CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors were approved by the state Senate's Committee on Environmental Quality. One, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Byron Sher, would require retailers to collect a yet-to-be-determined fee for every CRT sold. The other, written by Sher and Sen. Gloria Romero, also a Democrat, would establish a state program for recovery, reuse and recycling of CRT devices, using money collected via the first bill. The state appropriations committee will hear the bills in May. Romero's bill originally was broader and would have required manufacturers to label not only monitors but also handhelds and PCs as hazardous, because of their use of lead, mercury and other substances; it would also require manufacturers to set up a system for recovering the devices at the end of their useful life or to pay a fee to the state. As governments, environmentalists and manufacturers work to devise systems to handle this "e-waste," a major point of contention is the question of who pays for the cleanup.

In California on Monday, two bills targeting obsolete CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors were approved by the state Senate's Committee on Environmental Quality. One, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Byron Sher, would require retailers to collect a yet-to-be-determined fee for every CRT sold. The other, written by Sher and Sen. Gloria Romero, also a Democrat, would establish a state program for recovery, reuse and recycling of CRT devices, using money collected via the first bill. The state appropriations committee will hear the bills in May.

Romero's bill originally was broader and would have required manufacturers to label not only monitors but also handhelds and PCs as hazardous, because of their use of lead, mercury and other substances; it would also require manufacturers to set up a system for recovering the devices at the end of their useful life or to pay a fee to the state. As governments, environmentalists and manufacturers work to devise systems to handle this "e-waste," a major point of contention is the question of who pays for the cleanup.