Day by Day

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Old Computer and Electronic Equipment - Avoiding Heavy Handed Legislation by Democrats

Here is an issue I think we should own. Have you ever tried to get rid of consumer electronic or computer equipment once it's no longer of use to you or (it seems) anyone else? There are many parts of a computer that simply have to die before you chuck them and then there are people who throw the tower and monitor (if for no other reason than it went with the tower originally) in the dumpster when the new one comes. There are environmental arguments against doing that. To me it's just a damned waste. There are parts of those machines that can be reused and or resold. On the consumer electronics side, I've purchased 2 27 inch televisions in 2 years and both took a crap one year after I bought them. I asked around and all I found for local disposal was the City Dump. Who knows what they are doing with them. What should happen? Hands should be busy working to dismantel this stuff. There is a decent amount of plastic, glass, and metals in this equipment that could be separated, sorted, melted down, and resold. Any element that can not be reclaimed and is too sensitive to dispose of in a dump can be turned over to the do gooders for proper destruction and or least collected in one location. What happens to cars that we're finished with? Most times we take them to a junk yard, though some may choose the impound or simply to abandon the automobile though they probably end up in the junk yard that route as well.

In my online investigation of the subject matter, I came across this:

National PC Recycling Plan Proposed, Again
Two U.S. Representatives have resuscitated a bill to enact a national recycling program for electronic waste, following the successful launch of two state-run programs.
The bill, co-authored by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) last week, would create the National Computer Recycling Act. The act, if approved by Congress and signed into law, would tack on a $10 administrative fee to the sale price of computers and monitors to fund recycling efforts.

Notice where the focus is? On the sale of this equipment. One piece of equipment can get sold again and again over it's life. The things only get created once. The article continues:

The goal is to establish a national standard for e-cycling efforts, overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Currently, the issue is handled at the state level, with efforts by Maine and California leading the way.

However, the bill marks the third time that Thompson has attempted to push forward recycling legislation. In 2003, Thompson tried to enact a similar bill that also assessed a $10 fee, tacking on a clause that would exempt the sale of used computers between individuals. A spokesman confirmed that the text of the NCRA is the same as H.R. 1165, which died in committee during the 108th Congress.

This is why we should own the issue. What these two Democrats are trying to do is to micro manage every aspect of the handling of computer equipment ensuring a gigantic Governmental bureaucracy to force people into doing the right thing. There is an alternative. I know several people who recycle every single can and bottle they get their hands on. They go so far as to walk the roads and pick them up. Why? Because they get money for them. I don't throw out the old car starter because I paid a core charge at the store and I want the money. Do the same for the pc parts and consumer electronics. I could see numerous computer/electronics recycling centers throughout the country springing up in response....creating private sector jobs and ensuring that a problem is solved in a way that promotes freedom and opportunity while denying big-government loving Democrat pols a mega-program that will leach off of taxpayer money and oppresively restrict commerce.

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