To prevent the 20 million-plus TVs and computers discarded each year from polluting landfills, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.) want to start an Environmental Protection Agency-administered recycling program.
Legislation they have just introduced would give consumers a $15 tax credit for hauling their old sets and monitors to EPA-credited reclamation sites.
Participating electronics manufacturers, retailers and recyclers that reclaim 5,000 or more screens a year would get an $8-per-set credit.
“The growing amount of trash from the digital economy must be addressed before our landfills are full and foreign countries close their ports” to U.S. electronic waste, said Wyden.
He voiced skepticism that alterative plans to place upfront fees on new sets provide incentive to haul old ones to recyclers. Recycling is critical, he said, because electronic waste is a main contributor to hazardous lead, mercury and cadmium in landfills.
The problem will only get worse when the switch to all-digital TV sends analog sets the way of 8-track tape players.