To Connecticut

A meeting of recycling companies wishing to become Covered Electronics Recyclers in accordance with Connecticut’s Ewaste Recycling law will be held Wednesday, June 16 at 10:00.  The meeting will be held in the Russell Hearing Room at DEP offices at 79 Elm Street, Hartford.

The Connecticut program is run by Tom Metzner, a counterpart of mine from my days back at Massachusetts DEP. In the 1990s, Connecticut was towing the universal waste / EPA Region I line, and I was working for a commissioner who was not wanting to give EPA Region I any hints.   

I was a little worried that Connecticut would follow the California "crush-kill-destroy" method, but I think that just as I have matured in the past ten years, that the views of reuse and recycling of computers in Connecticut are in line with Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. 

(L) for CEDs to be exported, a description of how the applicant will comply with the
requirements of this section, including, but not limited to, whether and how the
CEDs will be reused, refurbished or recycled once exported, a disclosure of all of
the countries to which CEDs are to be exported, the countries through which CEDs
will travel, the import and export requirements for all such countries, and the
disposition of off-specification CEDs, CEDs that may break in transit or CEDs that
are not reused, refurbished or recycled for other reasons;

I'm on my way...    We are also running an electronics recycling event in another state this Saturday, I'll return and try to get a feel for how residents want their used electronics 'donations' to be  treated there.  What I have seen compared to 2001 is that most residents still would prefer to pay $5 to see their device reused and repaired for some good than to see it destroyed for free, but that it is a smaller percentage today.  More and more people today are really, really concerned about their hard drive data.  There is concern and awareness of the 60 Minutes / BAN story about e-waste exports... but most people assume that is burning stuff and that their own unit would probably be reused... but then they get all confused and start to panic and I have to assure them we'll take care of it all... because they worry what if someone sets fire to their computer, are they to blame?  Now they don't know whether to feel guilty about throwing away something someone else needed, or that their device will be set on fire, and cognitive dissonance vibrates almost visibly from their faces.

"We need to pass a law" seems to be the consensus.   So what we need to do is make sure the laws, like the one in Connecticut, are not written by people with the same cognitive dissonance confusion... or who are influenced by "obsolescence in hindsight" advocates.  For the regulator, "we need to have certification" seems to be the consensus.

The certifying bodies - including BAN itself - are charging money to do it and that seems to restore some calm. 

I take personal pleasure and pride in thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'm having a positive effect with my life.  So far without reading the book "Changing Minds in detail" by David Straker (I like the cover).

But gotta get on the road.  As Woody Allen said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up".

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