AUSTIN Twenty states have laws providing for the

recycling of old televisions, which reduces the amount of

electronic waste in landfills. After a state House vote on

Thursday, it appears Texas will join the club.

The bill, which already has passed in the Senate,

would require TV manufacturers to give consumers easy recycling

opportunities. SB 329 is not expected to be vetoed by Gov. Rick

Perry, as was a similar measure in 2009.

Robin Schneider, who directs the Texas Campaign

for the Environment, says it's good news for Texans who care

about reducing electronic waste.

"Because all the television companies - if they

want to sell us TVs - they're going to have to recycle TVs."

The measure would make manufacturers primarily

responsible for recycling costs. Much as with the state's existing

computer-recycling program, consumers would learn of recycling

options from retailers, the state environmental agency, and local

government web sites and toll-free hotlines.

The bill's strong bipartisan support indicates

changing attitudes in Texas, says Schneider, who has been pushing

similar efforts since 2003. With no evidence such laws in other

states have inflated TV price tags, she says, the legislation

should please almost everyone.

"This measure is important because it will help

keep toxic lead and mercury out of our landfills, and it will help

create jobs in the recycling industry. It will also save local tax


Until now, she says, local governments have borne

much of the costs associated with discarded TVs.

The new law would not make recycling mandatory for

consumers, but Schneider thinks most Texans want to do the right

thing as long as it's convenient enough.

"Most people have a sense that throwing away an old

television to go to the landfill is probably not the best thing to

do, but they don't know what else to do with their television."

The recycling industry, she says, has been slow to

accommodate televisions, largely because TVs don't have as many

reusable components as do computers, for instance. That will

change, she predicts, with new recycling laws: Compelled to

subsidize the recycling process, manufacturers will have an

incentive to build TVs with more recyclable materials.

A resource for computer recycling is online at

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