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Manufacturers to help pay for TV, computer recycling

May 18, 2009

The Indiana Recycling Coalition scored big in the just-concluded session of the Indiana General Assembly with the passage of House Bill 1589, which requires that electronics manufacturers help pay for recycling of their old televisions and computer monitors.

The measure, which was designed to keep the products loaded with lead and other nasty things out of landfills, will require manufacturers of products sold here to pay the state an initial $5,000 fee and $2,500 each year thereafter. That will pull in an estimated $2.5 million to $4 million the first year and up to $2 million thereafter, set aside to help fund recycling efforts.

Manufacturers also would have to develop and implement plans toward seeing that up to 60 percent of the total weight of their products sold here is collected and recycled each year.

In the past, such a California-like bill would never have survived the session. But with the closing of the former RCA television manufacturing plant in Bloomington a decade ago, there's not much in the way of monitor manufacturing left in Indiana. Most of the fees will be paid by out-ofstate manufacturers. The RCA brand was purchased in recent years by China-based TCL Multimedia.

HB 1589 was targeted at the estimated 1.2 million computers and televisions tossed in Indiana each year, many containing several pounds of lead and other hazardous materials.

"We also believe this new law will lead to the creation of new green jobs, including sorting, processing and recycling jobs in Indiana," said Carey Hamilton, executive director of the coalition.

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