By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte wants to prohibit the disposal of electronic devices at the solid waste management facilities
The vice chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations filed House Bill 8776 mandating that electronic devices be recycled or reused and penalizing individuals and waste management facilities that fail to responsibly dispose them.
“It is high time that we realize the health and environmental risks of improperly and irresponsibly disposing electronic devices, and at the same time, understand that a tremendous amount of resources actually goes to waste each time old electronic gadgets are left to gather dust in storage or mixed with other solid waste in garbage sites,” he said.
Citing the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Villafuerte noted that for every one million smartphones recycled, more than 34 kilograms of gold, 350 kilograms of silver, 15 kilograms of palladium and more than 15,000 kilograms of copper can be reused.
He cited that in Oregon, their state legislature is working on a bill requiring companies selling hazardous household products to fund and manage programs to collect and safely recycle or dispose of those products.
“It is enshrined in the Constitution that the State safeguard and promote the health and safety of its people, and protect and preserve its environment and natural resources. This Representation humbly believes that this bill is a significant step towards the right directions, ” he said.
Under House Bill 8776, no person shall knowingly dispose of any electronic device in mixed solid waste. Violators shall be punished with a P20,000 fine and one-month to three-months imprisonment.
The bill also provides that no solid waste management facility shall knowingly accept for disposal or incineration any electronic device, or any truckload or container of solid waste which includes electronic device. Those who violate shall be slapped with a fine amounting P50,000 and revocation of the license of the solid waste management facility.