Arkansas adds E-Waste Waste Ban

Arkansas joins Massachusetts, California, Florida, Indiana, New Hampshire and North Carolina in banning the disposal of used electronics from disposal. This simple approach has been criticized as "end of pipe" regulation by some, but (as you have read here) avoids some of the "command and control" market engineer mistakes of product stewardship tinkerers. In this article, Arkansas appears to be going after all electronics, not just CRTs.

Actually (as California suggests above), there are several other states which implemented waste disposal bans but which also added "product stewardship" laws so quickly that the disposal ban's importance was either eclipsed or ignored. Those states have a "suspender and a belt", and it's a little difficult to use the waste ban states as a "control group" when other factors - such as commercial economy - are not tracked. Vermont for example has neither a waste ban nor a stewardship law, but has a remarkably high diversion rate given the lack of a metropolitan commercial stream like Boston, Albany, New York or Montreal would generate.

What I find interesting - and could use some help on - is that no one appears to be tracking this list of waste ban electronics laws. had a list that I've now been unable to find on the internet. This 2008 list is in cache.

The main scientific measures I think are at play in the policy debate:

1 States which began program later have higher per capita rates now (the "longer uncut grass" dynamic).
2 States which have simple waste bans have higher incidents of export (I haven't seen quantification but accept that "criticism" of MA, we just need to define which exports are bad).
3 States which involve OEM "stewards" in selecting the recycler processes have lower (dramatically lower) levels of reuse.
4 States that have done nothing are either really doing great, like Vermont, or doing very little, like Louisiana.

Export policy seems to be the lynchpin to the debate. BAN says 80% of exports are bad. My company exported 22.5% in 2008. So we are probably not very far apart at all. It is "the perfect is the enemy of the good (point)"

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