Committee on Science and Technology
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Press Releases :: April 22, 2009

House Passes Bills to Reduce Electronic Waste, Improve Education in Energy-Efficient Building Design

(Washington, DC)—Today, the U.S House of Representatives passed H.R. 1580, the Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act, by voice vote, and H.R. 957, the Green Energy Education Act of 2009, by a vote of 411 - 6

HR 1580 authorizes the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award grants to reduce the volume of discarded electronic products in the United States through research, development, and demonstration projects for product design, recycling and re-use.
“This is a step toward a better end for the millions of old cell phones, televisions, computers, and other electronic devices Americans discard every year.  Right now, we send most to landfills, where toxic materials, like lead and cadmium, may leech into soil and water, and where valuable materials, like gold and copper, are unusable. We store a lot in our closets or junk drawers, for lack of a better alternative, and we recycle a small percentage,” said Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). “This bill invests in research to foster innovations to enable more efficient recycling, the selection of more environmentally friendly materials, better ways to educate consumers about electronics recycling, and methods to design products for easier disassembly and recycling.”
It is supported by a broad group of stakeholders, including the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition; Consumer Electronics Association; the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries; the Electronics Take Back Coalition; CTIA – The Wireless Association; the National Association of Manufacturers; and TechAmerica.
H.R. 957 authorizes the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to collaborate on the solicitation and funding of grants to institutions of higher education for education and training in clean energy and high-performance building design.
“Buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the economy. We have a significant opportunity to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by fostering and using innovations in high-performance building technologies, materials, techniques and systems,” said Gordon. “The legislation would provide interdisciplinary education and training in high-performance building design and construction to the next generation of architects and engineers that we’ll need.”
For more information, please see the Committee’s website.

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