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Posted Thu Mar 26 2009: from Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences , via EurekAlert:
E-waste reduced by fees at time of purchase, says new study
The large amount of waste that follows the sale of computers and electronics is reduced when states charge consumers a fee at the time of sale, according to [a recent study].... The fast pace of new product introduction in the electronics industry imposes high costs on manufacturers and the environment as consumers each year discard millions of tons of obsolete electronics containing toxic materials, by one estimate, more than one million tons of e-waste in the United States alone.... [T]he authors find that fees-upon-sale induce manufacturers to introduce products less frequently and, consequently, the quantity of e-waste decreases dramatically -- and manufacturers' profits may actually increase. In contrast, fees-upon-disposal reduce manufacturers' profits and fail to reduce the quantity of e-waste.
[Read more stories about: smart policy, efficiency increase, electronic waste]

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