Proposed recycling requirements for electronic waste are raising some concerns.
Legislation being considered at the Capitol would require manufacturers of electronics to help collect and recycle old products. State Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona), a sponsor of the bill, testified during a Capitol hearing on Wednesday that the time has come for companies to take responsibility for products that have reached the end of their useful life.
The legislation is facing a renewed push after recent public collection efforts for old electronics around the state led to people waiting in long lines to drop them off. In Dane County, some recyclers waited several hours to reach a drop-off site.
The measure is modeled after a Minnesota law, although it sets a higher standard for how much waste companies have to collect. Under the bill, electronics manufacturers would have to collect old products with a weight equivalent of 80-percent of what they sold in the state over the past year.
Valerie Rickman with the Information Technology Industry Council says companies have already been struggling to collect enough products to meet Minnesota's requirements, and the higher total in Wisconsin could make manufacturers face penalties when it's beyond their control.
During Wednesday's hearing, state Representative Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) also questioned if those goals could be sustained after an initial wave of people getting rid of old electronics.
Supporters say the bill does allow the state to lower the requirement if needed.
The measure is currently being considered by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources.