One thing that ticks me off about California’s (rising) E-Waste Tax (they call it a fee, let’s face it, it’s a tax)… is that all electronics are taxed the same. They’re classed based on the type of device, how big the screen is, etc.
I’m sick of paying $8/$15/More regardless of what TV or computer I buy. For example, Apple keeps making their systems more environmentally efficient, but all they get is a gold star from the government. I, on the other hand, wind up paying the same fee, as if I bought a computer from a company that overloads its power supply all day long, and doesn’t have a clue about adaptive charging… let alone SMC architecture.
If the state of California can give hybrids access to carpool lanes, why not give EPEAT Gold or high Energy Star ratings, a waiver on the fee? Electronics retailers have shown they can handle this kind of processing easily, and the retailers I’m sure would be happy to not have to charge the consumer markups on their retail.
I realize the environmental fee is to handle recycling, and isn’t a sin tax per se. However, typically, machines that are more energy efficient also are more environmentally better to recycle. Optimizing one factor generally puts engineers in a position to work on improving the other as well…
Now, I should note that I don’t think there should be an e-waste tax in California. I think there are better ways of handling the problem. But, if we are stuck with the fee, let’s at least make the fee something that is productive. If Californians won’t wake up and challenge the fee, then we should make the fee should be something that encourages electronics makers… to make their products better for the environment.