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HB 1058, if passed, would make a number of changes to the Health and Safety Code regarding a regime to encourage the recycling of electronic waste. The bill has six sections, two of which make major additions to the code, and four or which are essentially procedural, two of which (Section 2, and Section 3) make substantive changes.
These two sections are essentially identical, the only difference being that Section 2 deals with computers as electronic waste and Section 3 deals with televisions as electronic waste. These sections introduce a number of new requirements. These include requirements that operators of solid waste facilities place a sign in a conspicuous location encouraging the recycling of electronic waste, commercial transporters of solid waste create an insert encouraging the recycling of electronic waste, and that the commission develop rules governing the aforementioned sign and insert.
Recycling, or electronic waste or otherwise, is a laudable activity. As is encouraging such recycling. We take serious issue though at the notion of the state forcing waste facilities and transporters to engage in what is essentially prescribed and regulated speech. As admirable as the intent may be this is a totally inappropriate extension of state power. Likely, as electronic waste recycling becomes more normalized, such activity will become more likely on its own. In the meantime, it is disconcerting that the state would force speech on private entities and require them to bear the cost, essentially co-opting private property for state sanctioned messaging. HB 1058 is very inappropriate and of questionable utility. As such we oppose the bill.