Bart Gordon

Sarbanes pushes electronics recycling bill

Citing the growing number of consumer electronics products that wind up in landfills, Rep. John Sarbanes proposed Friday giving federal agencies $60 million over the next three years to promote recycling of gadgets and computers.

Used electronics represent a relatively small share of solid waste — about 2 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency — but it's a segment that is growing quickly. Companies and households tossed between 1.9 million and 2.2 million tons of electronics in 2005. Of that, about 350,000 tons were recycled.

Discarded electronic components create environmental hazards, particularly if chemicals leach into groundwater. But...