Electronic recycling programs have been conspicuously unsuccessful, prompting the House Science and Technology Committee to draft a bill to fund grants for higher-education programs related to e-waste management, as well as grants for research and development to find ways to better manage e-waste through product design, reuse, and recycling, CNET reports. At a hearing Feb. 11 to review the initial draft of the bill, the legislators admitted they were not even sure what to do with their own used electronics and are unhappy with the way Congress disposes of its official electronic equipment. "I’ve got a couple [computers] in my attic, and I keep worrying about them being there," said Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill. "What do I do with them?" she asked the expert witnesses at the hearing. "Do I just take them to a recycling center?" Biggert is hardly alone in her confusion. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that, at best, only about 18 percent of electronic waste is recycled, said Valerie Thomas, a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. "Products need to be designed for recycling, and collection programs need to be very easy," Thomas said. While electronic recycling and reuse programs have proven to be difficult for individuals to understand, some congressmen said the House protocol for disposing of old computers is also flawed. "It’s ludicrous we can’t give our computers to local educational organizations," said Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash….
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