- The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has received final approval to change electronic waste recycling fees for select categories, effective Jan. 1, as reported by Recycling Today.
- Covered devices with screen sizes up to 15 inches will now cost $5, screens up to 35 inches will cost $6 and all larger sizes will cost $7. All fees were raised by $2.
- In an unrelated decision, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control also readopted rules around waste cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and CRT glass. These will remain effective for two years until final regulations can be worked out.
These fees were established in the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 and have been in effect since 2005. Retailers are allowed to keep 3% of the fee and the rest goes to the state for recycling programs. This is the first fee increase in more than three years, though the new fees are still lower than they were when the program first started. Yet, the increase indicates that recyclers may be facing more difficulties with e-waste recycling across the state.
On the CRT side, California has seen volumes drop in recent years. While about 90 million pounds of CRT glass were collected in the state last year, the numbers this year are down by a significant amount so far. And while no clear reason is known, some speculate that consumers have already disposed of their remaining old units. This reduction is also happening in other parts of the country and has led at least one CRT dismantling facility to close up shop.
As the electronics recycling landscape continues to shift in unexpected ways throughout the country, it falls to states to adjust their programs as needed.