In the United States and other parts of the world, legal regulations of electronic waste disposal have been in place for several years and continue to grow. As of July 2012, lawmakers in the Israeli Knesset are instating a bill to make technology manufacturers responsible for recycling their waste materials. The organization responsible for this new legislation, Adam Teva V’Din (in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Ministry), has been widely praised for the progressive move.
A Step Forward in E-Waste
As one of the world’s leaders in technological development – most notably in the arenas of solar energy, stem-cell research, water technology, electric transportation, space science, and various fields of engineering – Israel produces about 85,000 tons of e-waste annually. Until now, virtually all of that waste has gone to landfills due to lacking legislation. While companies, like Gazelle and Snunit Recycling, have made it their missions to collect and recycle these products, these groups have been unable to make significant dents in the massive piles of electronic waste.
The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee approved the new e-waste bill to great applause from the country’s green advocacy groups, as well as foreign groups. The bill, which focuses strongly on the toxicity of chemicals found in electronic parts, orders producers and importers to arrange for 35% of their waste to be recycled by 2019. By 2021, the stakes will rise even higher as companies will be required to recycle at least 50% of their production.
This tougher management of safe, eco-friendly disposal is expected to alter the way Israeli manufacturers view harmful waste and its impact on the environment; some are even calling it a “recycling revolution” in the making. Groups working toward a cleaner, more environmentally careful Israel are glad to see the government begin to take action after years of overlooking the issue. While many private sector companies, environmental organizations, and activists have been working for this cause for years, the bill gives it an authority that manufacturers will be forced to heed.
The directive comes in the wake of many similar laws all over the world. The Waste Electronic and Electric Equipment Directive was passed by the European Economic Community in 2002 and has experienced commendable effects since. For the citizens of the tiny but influential state of Israel, the hope stands that an even greater green revolution is indeed on the horizon, for both home soil and beyond borders. Meanwhile, stateside residents can do their parts in the effort to reduce electronic waste by visiting Cash for Electronic Scrap USA and contributing to creating a cleaner, less wasteful planet.