What Is the California Recycling Fee?

by on September 26, 2011

in consumer

Consumer news, Consumer alerts and a Consumer's opinionThe other day I bought a cheapie flat screen TV that was an LED TV.  What caught my attention was that there was this California state induced fee at the cash register that accounted for 10% of my purchase price.  I became curious.

So what is a California Recycling Fee and why am I paying it at the cash register?

The reason I ask is because I already recycle.  I have a place I can drop off old TVs and such in Palo Alto, for free.  But it looks like I’m already being charged for something I’m going to do any way.

What the recycling fee does is provides money to a California state agency that deals with electronic equipment that gets sold to the consumer.  That organization is called the Board of Equalization (BOE).

Basically, from what pitch I’m reading, these funds are designed to put a program into place where the toxic wastes from the electronics we buy are properly disposed of.  If we were to leave this entire process alone, we would more than likely get heavy metals and such seep into our environment somewhere down the road.

That would be bad.

Of course, I was charged this fee for my LED flat screen TV that I bought.  And technically, LED TV’s are LCD’s augmented with LED back lighting.  No fluorescent lighting, and less bad for everyone in the long run.  But none-the-less, it’s still evil to the environment.

So, even though I came away confused about this fee, it seems to make sense.  California isn’t the first state to kick this process in gear, and I hope it’s not the last state.  For now, it’s odd so few states  Now, as long as we actually recycle properly, so be it!




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