Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
What to do with old televisions and old electronics has become a growing problem in Pennsylvania.
A law passed in 2010 changed the way electronics could be disposed of and required many devices to be recycled. However, the way the law was structured has made it difficult for many residents to dispose of devices, specifically older televisions.
On many streets motorists are greeted by orphan televisions as residents attempt to dispose of the devices.
Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, has introduced a bill that he says will help eliminate the problem.
“Electronic devices play a significant role in today’s society, and many of us use them every day. However, we need to be responsible in ensuring these devices are disposed of properly in order to safeguard public health,” Alloway said in a news release. “This solution is the result of a great deal of work between my staff and all of the stakeholders in this issue, and I am confident that this solution will meet the needs of consumers and the environment for the foreseeable future.”
Senate Bill 800 would create a network of e-waste recycling centers that consumers could use without having to pay a disposal fee.
The bill funds the recycling program by imposing a 0.5 percent tax on the purchase of electronics.
The tax would be imposed by the seller on the full retail purchase price, excluding sales tax, according to the bill.
“The current system, which calculates a manufacture’s cost of recycling on the weight of the devices sold in the previous year, does not effectively address technological advances, which results in modern, lighter devices being sold, while bulkier, outdated electronics are being recycled,” Alloway wrote in a co-sponsorship letter. “Because of this flaw in the current system, many citizens do not have access to facilities to adequately recycle their devices and often times are required to pay a fee.”