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Take it Back WEST conference addresses e-waste

Electronics makers could be saddled with an expensive state patchwork of fees, restrictions, and "takeback" mandate...


Electronics makers could be saddled with an expensive state patchwork of fees, restrictions, and “takeback” mandates if no agreements can be reached on a national recycling program this month.

Speakers at the Take it Back WEST conference, to be held March 1-3 at the Crowne Plaza Foster City (CA), will provide details on how to deal with complex recycling policies – from California’s new cathode ray tube fee, to heavy metals bans in Europe, to new packaging fees in Ontario, Canada. The theme will be “Recycling Policy and the Supply Chain."

“The electronics directives in Europe are posing the biggest compliance challenge ever,” comments organizer Michele Raymond, publisher of Recycling Laws International. The directives (referred to as WEEE and RoHS) cover anything with a battery or a cord, and will potentially cost industry about $40 billion to gear up for, according to some European industry estimates.

“Given that U.S. states introduced more than 50 electronics waste bills in 2003, we expect more action this year, since national talks seem to be losing steam,” Raymond says.

The international plenary March 2 will feature regulatory speakers from Austria to India to South Korea and Japan. The March 3 electronics sessions will feature experts from Hewlett-Packard, Philips, NTT Japan, White & Case Belgium, as well as European electronics recyclers and the California waste board.

A morning government policy session will provide panels on all aspects of the e-waste issue, as well as marine litter, while the afternoon debate will provide an open forum for all sides on the e-waste issue.

In response to recent approval of new packaging fees in Ontario, Canada, Raymond has added a new session March 1, opposite a session on plastics recycling technology. The March 1 afternoon packaging plenary will feature speakers from HP, IBM, and Bausch & Lomb.

“This is the first time manufacturers will have to weigh their packaging and pay fees in North America – it’s another major learning curve for many American firms,” she notes.

The Take it Back WEST conference is co-sponsored by Foresite Systems Ltd., UK,, Environmental Packaging International, and the Polymer Alliance Zone. Silver sponsors include United Recycling Industries, RFI Wireless, UK, and the Fortune Group recyclers.

For more information, contact Michelle Raymond at 301-345-4237 or www.raymond.com


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