TRENTON – Senator Bob Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, the Chair of the Senate Environment Committee, issued the following statement today regarding a hearing his panel conducted on the possibility of establishing an electronic waste management program in New Jersey:
“Today’s hearing highlighted the massive problem New Jersey faces in terms of electronic waste. Every year, 2 million TVs and 400,000 computers become obsolete and enter our waste stream, where chemical components seep into our air, land and water.
“We need to do something to promote reuse and recycling of electronic components, and ensure the safe and environmentally conscious disposal of e-waste.
“While the e-waste management advocates currently have two opposing proposals – an advanced recovery fee to fund a State-based program, or requiring producer responsibility to recycle e-waste – I think everyone recognizes that we have to do something to address the problem. There are advantages and disadvantages to both proposals, and as we move forward, we will weigh the pros and cons of each.
“Ultimately, we can only benefit from the testimony we heard today from experts in the field of e-waste management, such as HP and Dell, which run exceptional producer responsibility programs, and Shirley Willd-Wagner, who oversees California’s e-waste recovery and recycling program.
“With the input from those who’ve lead the way in e-waste management, I’m confident that the final bill will be the best possible for the people of New Jersey.”