Minnesota e-cycling law brings manufacturers together

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Major electronics manufacturers are banding together to comply with Minnesota’s new electronic recycling law. On May 8, 2007, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed into law the Electronics Recycling Act requiring manufacturers of video display devices such as televisions, computer monitors, and laptop computers to recycle 60 percent of the volume of their sales during 2007-2008, and 80 percent thereafter.

The law, considered the strongest in the nation, has resulted in a joint venture between Panasonic Corporation of North America, Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America. The three electronics giants have formed Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM). The company is to operate a collection and recycling program in Minnesota “and beyond,” perhaps in anticipation of more states adopting similar laws.

In a press release, MRM President David Thompson announced that MRM has “entered into collection and recycling agreements with Hitachi Electronics, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo and Olevia brand maker Syntax-Brillian.” MRM may be a way for many electronics manufacturers to comply with the recycling portion of the new law, but each manufacturer must individually register with the state and pay a fee.

Minnesota has more than 150 other registered collection sites for consumer electronics (pdf list), which is good news as Minnesota also has an estimated 19 million pounds of electronic waste. The new e-cycling law may bring electronic manufacturers to the effort, but consumers obligated to recycle their electronics as well.

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