In a recent article Tom Knudson of the The Sacramento Bee wrote about the failure of the California Monitor Recycling Program. You can view the article at :
Fresno Bee Article Link, Click Here
There are a couple of core problems with Mr. Knudson’s article. Obviously we are all aware of modern reporting techniques to get the most shock value, and I understand Mr. Knudson’s motivation for writing the article in that manner, but some of the information is missing.
Here are the key mistakes in his article.
1) The electronics recycling fee: Everyone who purchases a new monitor, TV, or other device that is part of the California recycling program is charged up to $25 PER UNIT purchased. Just think of all the people who have purchased a device in California only to take it overseas or out of state. The percentage of these purchases HAS TO out weigh the fraud estimated in the recycling program. The state and recyclers are working very hard to make sure that collectors stay honest.
2) Historical purchases in California: Since the dawn of the TV, exactly how many televisions have been resold to out of state companies or individuals as a “Used TV”? California is a huge marketplace for both new and used products. California is STILL exporting thousands of tons of used TV’s and monitors that are being re-used around the planet. Re-use is part of the recycling triangle.
3) Californian’s moving out of state: If you visit Oregon or Washington State, you will find almost as many California natives as you will Oregonians or Washingtonians. How many millions of TV’s and monitors have moved with the Californians as they took jobs or retired in other states?
When it comes right down to it, recycling works if there is a cash flow and business that promotes the proper handling of materials. If we did not have the best recycling program in the nation, we would probably be seeing televisions and monitors on every street, in every alley and in every river, creek or culvert. Mr. Knudson’s article was simply an attempt to gain readership and not a true and accurate accounting of the California recycling program for monitors.
If you need immediate proof of why the California Monitor Recycling Program WORKS, call any recycling company in any other state and ask them if they will recycle your monitor. Don’t be surprised when they tell you that they will charge you $20 or $30 to recycle your monitor. That is why most of the monitors in other states are going directly to landfills where the toxins can leach into the water table. ONLY California has had the courage, insight and intelligence to create a recycling program that WORKS. Any article about a few million dollars in fraudulent recycling claims is not seeing the big picture. California should be very proud of its willingness to take problems like monitor recycling head on instead of burying their heads in the sand like other states.
If you want to learn more about the program instead of just reading hype about what is not perfect about the program go to the following pages:
State information on the monitor recycling fee when purchasing a new device.
The California Initiative that handles the problem of toxic waste.
Best practice for handling CRT monitors.
So before you start complaining to your the state, take a closer look. This program works better than anyone had imagined. We are handling our own waste responsibly and we should be proud of it. Don’t take the word of a reporter who is looking to shock the world. Research for yourself and understand the truth about the success of our state’s ingenious program.