As we go through the state-by-state laws for electronic waste in the United States, looking at each of the 24 states which have such laws, we come to Texas, which passed its e-waste law in 2007. The Texas e-waste law is administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

As with other states, the Texas e-waste law requires manufacturers to register with the TCEQ and be responsible for the costs of recycling their products. The law applies only to home electronics (computers, monitors) and does not apply to business use e-waste. Specific equipment, as defined by law, are desktop and notebook computers, monitors and display devices without tuners (i.e. not televisions), and includes keyboard and mouse. Televisions are covered in a separate e-waste law.

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We have been going through each of the 24 states in the United States that have e-waste regulations looking at how they have implemented those laws and the purpose behind each. We’re going through them in the order they were enacted and have finally come to Oregon, which established its first e-waste law in 2007.

The law in Oregon is much the same as electronic waste laws in other states, putting the onus on the manufacturer. It requires makers of desktops, laptops, monitors, and TVs to participate in a recycling plan or pay a fee to the State Contractor program that Oregon has set up. The recycling plan began on January 1, 2009.

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Time Magazine just ran a piece on the e-waste problem (The E-Waste Blight Grows More Dangerous Than Ever: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/11/01/the-e-waste-blight-grows-more-dangerous-than-ever/ ) as an international phenomenon. The first paragraph of that singled out the Apple iPhone and how this most ubiquitous of devices has seen its percentage of the landfill rise along with its popularity.

This is not to single out Apple, of course, since the problem is larger than the company’s products and there are hundreds of other products on the market that could also be included in this analysis. The iPhone, however, has known sales numbers and trade-in/resell metrics that can be used as an example of just how pervasive the e-gadget-to-landfill problem is.

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We are going through each of the 24 states in the United States (plus New York City) that have e-waste regulations. One-by-one, we’re looking at the implementation of these laws and the purpose behind each. We are doing so in order of their enactment and today we are looking at Minnesota, which established its first e-waste law in 2007. It is our hope that all states in our nation will one day have these laws in place, since 24 isn’t nearly enough.

Minnesota’s law requires manufacturers of video display devices to recycle 80% of their market sales weight (up from 60% in 2008). This more comprehensive e-waste law was passed on top of a 2006 law that banned CRT screens from municipal solid waste facilities (landfills).

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