Passed Unanimously June 25, 2001
Signed by Mayor Willie Brown on July 6, 2001.

[Computer and Electronics Recycling.]

Resolution Urging the California State Legislature to introduce and support legislation requiring computer and electronics producers to take responsibility for reuse and recycling of their products.

WHEREAS, Electronic discards are an increasing problem, with more than 6,000 computers becoming obsolete in California every day(1) and 3.2 million tons of electronic waste ending up in United States landfills in 1997(2) ; and

WHEREAS, Electronics contain lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polyvinyl chloride, brominated flame retardant and other materials that can pose hazards to human health and the environment when handled improperly; and,

WHEREAS, Only 14% of personal computers that became obsolete in 1998 were recycled or refurbished(3) ; and,

WHEREAS, The City and County of San Francisco has been a leader in electronics reuse and recycling, and implemented a number of programs costing millions of dollars to reduce illegal dumping and promote the proper disposition of these products; and,

WHEREAS, The State of California recently affirmed that discarded cathode ray tubes, such as those found in televisions and computer monitors, are prohibited from municipal landfill, increasing concerns regarding proper disposal, cost and liability; and,

WHEREAS, Extended producer responsibility principles, such as those being adopted by several countries and the European Union, and contained in the Electronics Take It Back! Platform, a copy of which is on file with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors in File No._, will foster the development of sustainable design and recovery of electronic equipment by shifting the defaulted burden of disposal responsibility from government, ratepayers and taxpayers back to the manufacturers, distributors and consumers of such products, where it properly belongs, in part by internalizing lifecycle costs in the price of such products; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco supports the aforementioned Electronics Take It Back! Platform; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco hereby urges its State Assembly Members and Senators, by letter and receipt of this resolution, to introduce and support legislation requiring computer and electronics producers to operate or fund comprehensive extended producer responsibility programs whereby products are sustainably designed and labeled, consumers receive a financial incentive for proper disposal, a convenient collection infrastructure yielding a high rate of recovery is created and environmentally sound reuse followed by recycling is maximized; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That if no effective producer responsibility program is created by industry or enacted by the California Legislature and signed by the Governor by October 15, 2002, the City and County of San Francisco will commence preparing a local ordinance to require sellers and manufacturers to take back computers and other electronic equipment at no additional charge or fully fund a free and convenient recovery system; and, be it,

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco, should industry and the Legislature and Governor fail to act, may additionally require a deposit or fee at the point of sale to provide incentives for consumers to properly dispose of such products and cover the costs to the City and County and others for proper management of such products.


  1. Computers, E-Waste and Product Stewardship: Is California Ready for the Challenge?, Global Futures, 2001.
  2. Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, U. S. EPA, 1998.
  3. Electronic Product Recovery and Recycling Baseline Report, National Safety Council, 1999.

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