Seeking to help Hollywood comply with California’s landmark Electronic Waste Recycling Act — which makes it illegal to dump computer monitors, televisions, cell phones and other devices containing hazardous materials — the Environmental Media Association (EMA) has teamed up with Electronic Recyclers (ER) to establish on-site “e-waste” collection centers at studios, networks and agencies. While making it free and easy to collect obsolete electronics, EMA and ER hope other businesses and individuals will be inspired to follow suit.
On Nov. 16 and 17, EMA president Debbie Levin and Electronic Recyclers co-founder, president and CEO John Shegerian met with Paramount, Disney, Fox, HBO, E! Entertainment, CAA and UTA during an initial joint Hollywood trade mission, with other meetings to follow in the coming months.
The Electronic Waste Recycling Act (SB20/50), signed by Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and amended in 2004, was the first legislation in the nation to address toxic e-waste, much of which winds up exported to developing nations’ landfills where lead, mercury and other hazardous materials pose heath risks for millions. The act mandates the recycling of electronics incorporating CRTs, LCD monitors and televisions, and flat-panel displays 4in wide or larger. It also imposes $6 to $10 point-of-purchase consumer fees for electronic devices in order to offset the costs of recycling e-waste.
The act bans all electronic devices from landfills as of February 2006. Via separate state legislation, cell phone retailers are also required to collect old phones for free. This effort will not only begin to turn the tide in the global e-waste crisis, according to Levin and Shegerian, but will help underwrite EMA’s education and outreach programs. Electronic Recyclers, the largest company of its kind in California, will pay royalties to EMA based on the weight of all goods recycled. ER has already made a $100,000 pledge commitment to EMA against future royalties.