There are 24 states in the United States (plus New York City) that have comprehensive e-waste laws and regulations. We are going through each of them to see how they have been implemented and the history and purpose behind each. We hope to see a time when each and every State in our Union have these types of laws in place, but for now we can only focus on the States that do.  Today, we are looking at the state of North Carolina, which passed its law in 2007.

It began taking effect in July of 2010 (after amendment in 2009) and affects both households and businesses. Like most state-based laws of this type, it puts the onus on the manufacturers to create recycling drop points and programs. Another provision of the law mandates recycling or re-sale of all government-owned electronics in the state, county, and local governments of North Carolina.

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is an annual event with a lot of great showcases of the latest in electronics technology. This year, one of the new items being shown was called the EcoATM. This machine is a recycling center for old phones that allows consumers to deposit old phones and get instant cash.

The machine is basically a small vending machine with a touch screen and some ingenious internals that analyze the phone you’ve inserted to determine whether or not it’s working, what it’s make and model are, and then how much it might be worth recycled or repurposed.

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In 2009, the Office of Management and Budget began plans to close down redundant data centers around the nation and consolidate smaller ones into larger units. Last year, those closures began as a little over 200 data centers were closed or phased into other centers. The original plan was for about 1,080 data centers to be closed by 2015, but those numbers have jumped.

OMB Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has announced that the office is accelerating closures and will have 1,200 by the end of 2012, mostly by consolidating smaller centers of less than 500 square feet. The total closed centers by 2015 is now planned to be 3,133, three times its original goal. The closures will save in the neighborhood of $5 billion by OMB estimates.

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A new E-Waste Recycling and Reuse Services Worldwide report shows current trends in the e-waste business and predicts rapid growth over the next ten years. E-waste collection services alone are expected to triple by 2020 and other aspects of the e-cycling market are likely to follow suit. The report also suggests that reports of irresponsible recycling programs are likely exaggerated.

China and India are the world’s leaders currently in electronics recycling, holding 23.7 and 21.6 percent (respectively). Both nations have nationalized programs for e-waste handling and are also the world’s leading markets for electronic device sales growth.

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