WASHINGTON -- A House committee has approved a funding bill for research into ways to cut electronics waste and mitigate its environmental impact.

The Science and Technology committee bill proposes spending $60 million from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2012 for EPA grants to increase electronics waste collection and recycling rates. The bill would also fund research on separating hazardous materials from e-waste and designing longer-lifespan devices.

While the funds would go to the EPA, it is unclear how the monies would be further dispersed. However, about $15 million would go to the National Science Foundation to fund e-waste curricula at universities.

The bill is backed by companies like Best Buy, which currently takes back certain electronics such as PCs, and various lobbying groups such as the Electronics TakeBack Coalition.

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