In an effort to find a way to safely dispose of high-tech waste, federal legislation was introduced this week that would impose a $10 fee on PCs, monitors and laptops to pay for recycling centers.
The fee would be collected on equipment sales to consumers and businesses, according to legislation sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.).
PCs contain lead, mercury and PVC plastics -- all hazardous materials. According to figures cited by Thompson, some 41 million PCs will need to be disposed of this year.
The fee would be used to create a federal grant program for building computer recycling centers.
Private sector businesses are already offering disposal services, including vendors such as Dell Computer Corp. One company engaged in that kind of work is PCdisposal.com LLC in Olathe, Kan.
Kory Bostwick, the company's president, said PCdisposal primarily contracts with businesses, which pay $35 to dispose of a PC, a price that includes shipping.