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Maine enacts producer-pays program for electronics.

The state of Maine has launched the first manufacturer-funded electronics recycling program in the United States.

Under the law, which went into effect in mid-January, municipalities send discarded computer and television monitors to consolidation centers that are fully funded by TV and computer monitor makers selling products in the state. The manufacturers also pay to safely ship and to recycle the electronics. The manufacturers' costs are apportioned according to the number of their units recovered in Maine, including a share of "orphan units," which are made by manufacturers that are now out of business. Under the law, manufacturers can take back their own products directly, if they prefer.

According to the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Maine has plans from more than six dozen manufacturers indicating their compliance with the law. Maine's DEP has also adopted rules to control costs and has approved five consolidators to manage collections.

"I am proud that Mainers have shown our strong environmental leadership again, this time tackling the safe recycling of electronic waste to keep toxics out of our environment," Maine Gov. John Baldacci says in a press release issued by the state's DEP. "Maine's electronic waste recycling law based on product stewardship is a national model as it protects our environment, saves taxpayers money and puts costs where they belong to encourage safe design and recycling of electronic wastes."
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Publication:Recycling Today
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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