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    An E-Waste/RoHS Bill For Uruguay

    By Keith R | September 29, 2008

    Topics: Electronic/Electrical Equipment, Environmental Protection, Hazardous Substances, Waste & Recycling | No Comments »

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    Earlier this month a bill was introduced in the Uruguayan legislature to “create a management system for waste from electrical and electronic apparatuses.”  Uruguay, it seems, is joining Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica among the Latin American nations finally moving to tackle the WEEE issue.

    The bill is relatively short (2 pages) and simple, apparently utilizing as its model the bill that later became Uruguay’s packaging waste law. Much of the detail about Uruguay’s packaging waste management system were left up to regulation drafted by the environment unit (DINAMA) of the Ministry of Housing, Zoning and the Environment (MVOTMA).

    It creates a management system made up of manufacturers and vendors of “equipment that require electrical current or electromagnetic fields in order to function.”  MVOTMA would define the precise scope of application of the law for “apparatuses, lamps and equipment” via implementing regulation.

    Manufacturers and vendors of covered electrical and electornic equipment (EEE) would be required to take back WEEE without cost to the client when they are acquiring new equipment.  The reception of WEEE could be delegated to third parties authorized by MVOTMA for this purpose. Members of the management system would have 12 months after the bill becomes law to set up the take-back system.

    Likewise recovery of the collected equipment could be either done by the manufacturers/vendors themselves or farmed out to third parties, as long as the party doing the work is licensed for that purpose by MVOTMA.  Equipment or materials recovered which have commercial value could sold by the members of the management system.

    All EEE placed on the market in Uruguay would have to bear a label certifying that it does not contain substances banned or restricted under the European Union’s (EU) Restrictions on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive — i.e., lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and brominated flame retardants [polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)].

    The Executive Branch would set both workplace health and safety rules for the workers handling, disassembling and recycling the collected equipment.  MVOTMA would be charged with determining the rules for the “destination and treatment” of unrecoverable parts.

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