Washington Gov. Gregoire signs far-reaching e-recycling law

On Friday, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) signed into law the toughest electronic-waste recycling measure in the U.S. — good news for a state brimming with Microsoft techies who upgrade their systems once a quarter. The bill will require TV and computer makers to collect, transport, and dispose of the e-devices at their own expense starting in 2009. The Washington Department of Ecology estimates that state residents discard over 1 million heavy-metal-laden TVs and monitors annually. Manufacturers wanted costs passed back to consumers — California’s e-waste law requires customers to pay a recycling fee when they buy a TV or computer, and Maine’s law charges folks $2 per recycled item — but lost out. Supporters say the new law will encourage makers to find ways to e-manufacture using fewer hazardous materials.