Senator Herbig, Representative Daughtry, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business, my name is Sarah Nichols and I am the Sustainable Maine Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine/ I’m testifying in support of LD 1977.
NRCM strongly believes that promoting the reuse and repair of electronics helps to protect human health and our environment. Our society relies heavily on the use of electronic products, many of which become outdated in a very short time (often by design), leading to a significant amount of problematic waste. E-waste such as televisions, computers, and computer components contain toxic substances, including lead, mercury, cadmium, lithium, brominated flame retardants, phosphorous coatings, and PVC plastics that create dioxins when burned.
Maine passed an e-waste recycling law in 2004, and since then nearly 100 million pounds of e-waste have been collected and recycled in Maine—instead of being landfilled or burned in a waste-to-energy facility and paid for by our municipalities and taxpayers. But this bill provides us with an important opportunity to look even further up Maine’s Solid Waste Management Hierarchy established in 1989– at waste reduction and reuse.
If passed, this policy would remove unnecessary barriers and pave the way for more repair and reuse of electronic devices. This has many important benefits to our local economy, consumers, and our environment, and I urge you to support this legislation.
Thank you for your consideration and your time.