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Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) has introduced the Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act (HR-2396), which is designed to create competitive research grants to address the growing problem of electronic device disposal.
Sarbanes sees the bill as a gain for the economy and for the environment. “It reduces the environmental impact of high-tech manufacturing, reduces cost, and makes US companies less dependent on foreign suppliers of minerals and other materials,” he says in a press release. While the goals of the bill are ambitious, the success in accomplishing them will depend on the quality of the projects to be initiated if the bill happens to pass the House and Senate, and get signed by President Obama.
The bill would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award grants to reduce the environmental impact of discarded electronic devices and promote the recycling of those devices through R&D projects. It would also call for a study of the barriers to recycling of these devices and authorize the EPA to award grants to colleges and universities for curriculum development in the area of recycling electronic devices.