It's been a trashy month for the news media. First the New York Times reported on March 11 that China, the "world's largest" garbage importer, is refusing trash from American and European "waste dealers." Then the New Yorker magazine published "Trash Queen," about a Chinese paper-making tycoon whose fortunes have fallen in recent months because of the global recession.
Vermont newspapers are also weighing in on waste trends. Louis Porter wrote in the March 14 Times Argus that "Vermont is a long way from China, but the economic slide hitting thatcountry's manufacturers is having an impact on Vermont's recyclingprograms." The Burlington Free Press reported on March 30 that the Chittenden Solid Waste District will soon raise its per-ton solid waste management free from $17.61 to $22.06.
Against this backdrop, the Vermont Senate is considering S.77, a bill that would require manufacturers to "implement and fund a system for the collection and recycling of electronic devices." S.77 is a legislative priority for the newly formed VermontProduct Stewardship Council. The council's coordinator, Jen Holliday, tells me in an email that she hopes the bill will pass on the Senate floor tomorrow.
One of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Virginia "Ginny" Lyons (D-Chittenden), sponsored an "e-waste" bill last year that drew criticism from Chinese officials. WWBSTT? (What will Beijing say this time?)
Incidentally, if you'd like to dispose of your own e-waste, take it to South Burlington High School's parking lot on Saturday, April 18. Small Dog Electronics is sponsoring their 3rd annual e-waste recycling drive. They're accepting old electronics equipment from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They'll take everything but household appliances. But don't try to bring them your business computers — it's a residential-only collection.