Recently, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced legislation that would fund electronics recycling research and provide grants for companies using sustainable practices.
On Wednesday, Sarbanes toured one company that has led the way—E-Structors in Elkridge—to see firsthand some of its green methods. The electronics recycling business at 7575 Washington Boulevard is the 12th largest recycling company in the U.S.
Julie Keough, cofounder and CEO of E-Structors, said in a press release that her company strives to reduce hazardous waste going to landfills, end the export of hazardous waste to the third world, reduce the nation's reliance on foreign sources of raw materials, and create green jobs.
"Electronics is the fastest growing source of solid waste generated in this country,” said Keough.
In the past two years, E-Structors has processed more than 22 million pounds of electronics; in February, it became landfill-free.
Currently, manufacturers procure raw materials for products like hybrid vehicles and wind turbines from mines in China, according to the release, yet American landfills are filled with these deposits.
“Recycling electronic waste is a win-win for our economy and our environment,” said Sarbanes in a press release. “It reduces the environmental impact of high-tech manufacturing, reduces cost, and makes U.S. companies less dependent on foreign suppliers of minerals and other materials."
Sarbanes continued: "This legislation will help American companies stay competitive ... and set the stage for new companies to emerge.”