What the left is talking about now. - Or the best available example of the Libertarian ideal of people working together to raise awareness of a problem and offer solutions without a law in order to achieve a better society.
Wouldn't it be great to get a few billion people all together to safely recycle e-waste without passing a law to require it!
First - the story, then the beginning of solutions. And then finally the recognition that in a capitalist world, since the lowest price often wins, and is most often achieved by externalizing as much of its costs as possible, a law is unfortunately coming.
From Mother Jones You can help minimize waste by opting for a refurbished phone (available through all major carriers) instead of a new one. Once you're done with your phone, there are a number of recycling systems you can participate in. To reduce the carbon footprint from ground transportation and reclamation, I prefer programs that handle large volumes of cell phones. Best Buy has kiosks in nearly every store where you can drop off your used electronics. The program doesn't export any non-working phones or components to developing countries, and it requires third-party partners to submit documentation of environmental compliance. If you're looking to make a few bucks off your phone, check out GreenPhone.com , which gives you cash for your old unit; offers you a free, printable shipping label; and will plant a tree every time you recycle a phone. The folks over at Earth911 recommend this website to see if your local recycling outfit is certified as an "e-Steward"—which requires strict control over exporting overseas, "full accountability for the entire downstream recycling chain," and disclosure on any airborne toxins released during the smelting process. If none of these float your boat, you can see an extensive list of drop-off and mail-in recycling programs at the EPA's eCycle site .
And the proposed law.