Iowa has joined into an agreement with four other states to endorse a policy on dealing with the disposal of junk computers and other electronics. Theresa Stiner of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the agreement is designed to get all the states treating the disposal of electronic waste in the same way.

Stiner says the policy would require electronics manufacturers to collect and recycle an amount of junked electronics bases on their sales. Stiner says if the company did not want to recycle itself, they could get together as a group and recycle. Or she says they could pay the state a fee based on the amount of electronics they sell and the state would do the actual recycling.

Stiner says they decided having electronics manufacturers take ownership of the recycling effort was probably the best way to get it done. She says it’s difficult to get people to pay a fee at the time they recycle and that becomes a burden on local governments. Stiner says there’s not total agreement from manufacturers on the policy.

Stiner says the manufacturers understand the need for recycling, but they each have a different idea on how to do it. Stiner says the policy must be approved by the Iowa Legislature before it would go into action, but Stiner says she’s not sure when, or if, that might happen.

Stiner says this is what the D-N-R is supporting but she says they D-N-R hasn’t decided yet if it will be a legislative priority. Stiner says it’s important to recycle the electronics because they carry many types of heavy metals that could pose problems if they leach out of landfills into the groundwater.