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Proposed rule would ban electronic waste disposal for federal agencies

Federal agencies would be prohibited from throwing out electronic waste under a March 6 proposed rule.

Monitors, computers, smart phones and other electronics would need to be sold, donated offered to other agencies or recycled through a certified electronic waste recycler, the proposed rule says.

Office electronics are made with rare and precious metals, plastic and glass, all of which can be recycled.

Electronics also contain small amounts of toxic materials that must be disposed of properly to prevent harm to health and the environment, said General Services Administration Deputy Senior Sustainability Officer Kevin Kampschroer in an April 22 blog post.

The rule comes as part of the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (pdf), an initiative started by President Obama in 2011 to address responsible use and disposal of electronics in the federal government.

As part of the strategy, GSA issued guidance to federal agencies banning landfill disposal of electronics. The rule would make the guidance a federal regulation.

"The federal government has been taking steps to ensure that it is leading by example and becomes a more responsible user of electronics and directs items to certified e-waste recyclers," Kampschroer said.

The rule would also make agencies submit detailed data on all disposed electronic waste to be reported on Data.gov.


Article by: Ryan McDermott

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