Hot of the presses! The Story of Stuff project has just released an excellent new 7-minute film, the Story of Electronics. You may already be familiar with the Story of Stuff Project’s series of wildly popular and fun web videos that expose the hidden costs of all the consumer products we buy and toss at alarming rates. This new film takes on the electronics industry’s “designed for the dump” mentality, and asks, why do we throw away millions of tons of electronics every year, and what does that mean for the planet?
Check it out at: http://storyofelectronics.org
As you may remember, in 2004, NRCM led the campaign for Maine, which became the first state to require computer and television manufacturers to set up e-waste collection centers and pay for the costs of environmentally safe recycling. Since then, Maine has recycled over 30 million pounds of e-waste, saved taxpayers more than $20 million dollars, and prevented more than 6 million pounds of lead and other toxics from entering our environment. This breakthrough paved the way for other states to follow and helped to spur on the movement for e-waste recycling in the United States. Since 2004, 23 other states have followed Maine’s lead, enacting producer responsibility laws to recycle unwanted electronics.
More good news: Collecting, hauling, and recycling is all now being done by private companies. New businesses have been created and existing businesses have expanded, creating jobs and helping to build out Maine’s clean tech economy.
Our law originally only covered TVs, computers, laptops, and monitors. In 2009, NRCM led an effort to expand the law to incorporate video game consoles, printers, and additional digital display devices. Maine people now have convenient opportunities to recycle these products, but there are many more electronics products that can and should be recycled. Canadian provinces and the European Union are developing e-waste programs that require manufacturers to recycle everything “with a plug or battery.”
There are many opportunities to recycle your electronic products. To learn more about where to take your old unwanted electronics, visit our website.
-Matt Prindiville, Clean Production Project Director