Indiana Passes First E-Waste Recycling Law in 2009

Indiana became the first state to pass a major electronics recycling law in 2009 as Gov. Mitch Daniels signed HB 1589 into May 13, making Indiana the 19th state to pass a law creating a statewide e-waste recycling program.

Eighteen of these 19 states, including Indiana, have adopted "producer takeback" laws, requiring the manufacturers to pay for the collection and recycling of old products.

"With the signing of HB 1589, Indiana has become a leader among states working to regulate electronic waste," said Carey Hamilton, executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC). Hamilton went on to say, "Because of this law, more of our electronic waste will be safely recycled as opposed to land filled, incinerated, or exported. We also believe that HEA 1589 will lead to the creation of new green jobs, including sorting, processing, and recycling jobs in Indiana."

The Indiana law is similar to the law passed in 2007 by Minnesota, and requires manufacturers of video display devices (TVs, monitors, and laptops) to collect and recycle 60 percent by weight of the volume of products they sold in the previous year in Indiana. After the first two years, manufacturers who fail to meet those goals will pay an additional recycling fee for every pound they fall short of their goal. While the goals are based on sales of video display devices, the program allows consumers, public schools, and small businesses to recycle a larger group of products for free, including TVs, computers, laptops, keyboards, printers, fax machines, DVD players, and video cassette recorders. The program begins collection in April 2010.

"With the digital conversion right around the corner on June 12, Indiana has taken an important step in mandating producer takeback for electronic products," said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition. "We are already seeing that states which adopted strong laws that include collection goals or convenient recycling standards are getting excellent participation from consumers, who are bringing back their old products in record numbers."

E-waste recycling laws are under consideration in several states, including Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Colorado, Kentucky, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Utah. Hawaii, Missouri, and Texas are considering laws that would add televisions to their current laws, which only cover computer recycling.

The states which have passed e-waste recycling laws are:

  • 2003 California
  • 2004 Maine
  • 2005 Maryland
  • 2006 Washington
  • 2007 Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, North Carolina
  • 2008 New Jersey, New York City, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri, Hawaii, Rhode Island Illinois and Michigan
  • 2009 Indiana.