Section: "Casino Simulcasting Fund" established
1. The Legislature finds and declares that as computers have become more popular, many innovative programs have been developed throughout the nation to recover those being discarded; that the recycling of used computers represents one electronic by-product that may create new opportunities in the evolving re-manufacturing industry, in which private firms recapture household appliances and old electronic equipment; that during the course of the past ten years, personal computer sales have increased enormously, and surveys reveal that up to 25 percent of American households now own at least one personal computer; and that with the proliferation of personal computers and the continuously emerging computer technologies, computer recycling has evolved, and with it programs of reuse and recycling of such component parts as metal and plastic.
The Legislature further finds and declares that approximately every year two computers will be discarded for every three manufactured in this country, thereby contributing approximately 200,000 tons of old electronic equipment to the nation's solid waste stream; that while many used computers may end up in the trash, others may be taken home by employees or donated to friends or schools; that there are several dozen computer recycling programs throughout the United States, with numerous others sprouting up to serve social service community organizations; and that keyboards, circuit boards, monitors and other computer components and accessories can become obsolete just with the advent of new processing chips.
The Legislature further finds and declares that, to date, over 25 million personal computers had been discarded globally; that this number is expected to increase to 150 million by the end of the decade; that it has been estimated that between 50 and 70 million computers alone have been disposed of between 1992 and 1996; that at landfill disposal "tipping fees" of $50.00 per ton, the discarded computers would cost more than $100 million, not including the potential cleanup costs of any hazardous materials that the computers may leach into the environment; and that the disposal of used computers in an environmentally-sound manner as solid waste is costly.
The Legislature further finds and declares that computers contain numerous heavy metals; that cathode ray tubes (CRTs), commonly known as "monitors," have high levels of lead in the glass, as well as mercury, cadmium, and phosphorous in the vacuum tubes; that CRTs are also found in television sets; that the CRT comprises about two-thirds of the weight of a typical computer workstation; that the lead in a monitor is about eight percent by weight, and the glass more than 18 pounds in a typical 17-inch monitor; and that both of these items may be recycled.
The Legislature therefore determines that it is in the public interest to limit and eventually reduce the volume of used computer monitors entering New Jersey's solid waste stream; and that the State, through the Department of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the manufacturers, retailers and distributors of computers and other electronic equipment, should seek to develop an environmentally-sound strategy for the proper management, recycling and reuse of used computers.
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