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RE: [GreenYes] California E-Waste Bill Fails Producer Responsibil ity Test
I'd have to echo Sharon's sentiments and add, "We're not Europe."  Yes, SB20
falls short of the mark established by the EPR Working Group, but to think
we could catch up with Europe in one fell swoop is unrealistic.  Considering
the relationships that exist between large corporations and legislators, I
think it is safe to say that change will never be as fast as we would like.
However, moving forward is moving forward and SB20 has the ball rolling.  

E-waste is a problem across the country, not just in California.  As a
result of SB20, California will have some money to begin implementing some
solutions for the short-term.  SB20 is a start, not the end.  The natural
progression would be government and business continuing to work together to
reduce the amount of e-waste generation and to establish the systems and
infrastructure to more effectively deal with the remaining waste.  Isn't
that our common goal?

Stephen M Bantillo
City of San José, Environmental Services Department
Integrated Waste Management
777 North First Street, Suite 300
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 277-3846   Office and VMail

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/
A bill signed Yesterday by California Governor Gray Davis,
Senate Bill 20, fails the 'producer responsibility test,'
according to the EPR Working Group, a coalition of U.S. and
Canadian environmental, labor, toxics and environmental
justice organizations promoting effective Extended Producer
Responsibility (EPR).

The Working Group recently developed a checklist of
Essential Elements of Effective EPR Programs, based on
successful programs in Europe, Japan and other parts of the
world.  EPR is a policy framework that extends brand owners'
responsibilities to include responsibility for life cycle
costs of their products and associated packaging, with the
goal of spurring better environmental design.

The California e-waste bill provides the first opportunity
to apply the Working Group's principles to policy that is
moving in the U.S.  After the European Union adopted
regulations requiring all brand owners of all electronic and
electrical products to pay for taking them back at end of
life, a number of states and provinces in North America have
been considering similar legislation.  Attention has focused
especially on California after the governor vetoed an
electronics waste bill in 2002, saying he wanted to see
producers take more responsibility for their products, like
in Europe.

"Based on these principles the bill fails miserably," said
EPR Working Group member Helen Spiegelman.  "It is a
traditional recycling program, financed with a tax and
managed by government."

The EPR Working Group published a report card today that
evaluates SB 20 in terms of the essential elements of its
checklist.  With a grade of Fail or Qualified Fail on eight
of the eleven elements, SB 20 was given a final grade of

A bright spot is that the bill is consistent with European
requirements in mandating phase-outs of hazardous materials.

However, failing grades were given to SB 20 for not holding
producers responsible for financing or running programs;
leaving out most electronic products; not adequately
controlling exports of used electronics; lacking incentives
for green design; and depending on consumer financing for
clean-up legacy waste, among other problems.

The Report Card on SB 20 and EPR Principles are posted at .  See also

Contact:  Bill Sheehan 706-613-0710

-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon_Gates@no.address [mailto:Sharon_Gates@no.address]
Sent: Friday, September 26, 2003 8:30 AM
To: greenyes@no.address
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] California E-Waste Bill Fails Producer
Responsibility Test

While I'd be the last to argue that SB 20 is even close to ideal, from my 
perspective in budget-strapped local government, SB 20 is a big step in 
the right direction.  My city (of 425,000) is faced with an unknowable 
quantity of e-waste, which has to be dealt with in a responsible, 
environmentally sound manner.  This while we are curtailing City services 
due to budget constraints.  At least SB 20 will start generating funds to 
pay for some of the cleanup, and get some of the burden off the municipal 
tax- and rate-payers.  Last year we couldn't even get the governor to sign 
a bill like SB 20; maybe next year the legislature will take another step 
toward true producer responsibility.  In the meantime, I've got a couple 
of hundred thousand residents with TVs to get rid of.

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California

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