§ 23-24.10-2. Findings.
(a) The general assembly finds televisions, computers and other electronics are omnipresent in modern society, and the number of obsolete, worn-out or otherwise used televisions, computers and other electronic products are increasing;
(b) Used televisions and computers contain lead, mercury and other hazardous substances that pose a threat to human health and the environment if improperly disposed of at the end of their useful life;
(c) Cathode ray tubes are estimated to be the largest current source of lead in the state's municipal solid waste stream;
(d) Many flat-panel-display televisions, computer monitors and laptop computers contain a mercury-containing lamp for backlighting purposes;
(e) The reuse, repair and recycling of televisions and computers protect public health and the environment by reducing the potential for the release of heavy metals and mercury from landfills and municipal waste combustors into the environment, provide jobs and business opportunities for state residents, recover valuable components and materials, reduce energy consumption, air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and conserve valuable landfill space;
(f) The state of Rhode Island has an interest in resource conservation, waste minimization, landfill capacity management, pollution prevention, job creation and recycling;
(g) The Rhode Island mercury reduction and education commission recommended that electronic waste be banned from disposal as solid waste, be managed through recycling or as hazardous waste, and be handled in a manner consistent with products covered by the Mercury Reduction and Education Act;
(h) The commission also recommended that a system of producer responsibility for the collection and recycling of covered electronic devices is the most effective and equitable means of keeping this toxic waste out of landfills, alleviating the full financial and physical burden placed on the state and municipal governments for handling e-waste, while also providing a powerful incentive for manufacturers to reduce toxins and redesign products for recycling; and
(i) The general assembly finds that the establishment of a comprehensive system to provide for the collection, reuse and recycling of electronic products in this state is consistent with its duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, enhance and maintain the quality of the environment, conserve natural resources, prevent air, water and land pollution and stimulate economic growth.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 365, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 447, § 1.)