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Posted Dec 21st, 2016

Let’s Take a Look at State Laws and E-Waste Recycling

The average American family has 24 electronics devices in their household, and the average office has a whole lot more. Electronic sales are a $206 billion market that’s only going to get larger thanks to a whole new slew of devices and equipment, where everything is smart and connected.

All of that means we’re facing a lot of electronics waste. The EPA says we’re looking at more than 2.5 million tons of electronics are being tossed each year, but other reports say just 25% of this e-waste is getting recycled.

And, we need to do better.


Federal Controls

There is no federal rule for e-waste recycling currently, and it is unclear if the EPA will seek out a federal mandate on e-waste. There were meetings toward the middle and end of 2016 covering elelectronics recycling and potential requirements for businesses, but it is unclear if this goal will remain under the new administration.

That leaves most of the work in the hands of states and industries themselves. Many manufacturers now have a recycling or return program, but the use of these programs is staying relatively small. So, the heavy lifting is now up to the states.

State Requirements You Should Know

Today, 25 states have e-waste laws that govern electronics recycling and disposal. Laws tend to focus on producer responsibilities, customer fees and cost recovery, or education programs for manufacturers. When taken together, these laws cover 65% of the U.S. population.

We’ll look at some broad trends for these different rules, but at the bottom of the post you’ll find links to each state’s program.

Two Flavors of Laws

In most cases, there are two models for e-waste recycling and disposal.

Twenty-four states plus Washington D.C. place a requirement on electronics manufacturers to pay for the collection and recycling of electronics. If you’re a manufacturer, please read the rules covering states where you operate because products covered under e-waste recycling laws differ significantly across states.

California has taken a different route by charging consumers a fee of $6 to about $10 per device to create a recycling program for electronics. Retailers collect the fee at the point of sale and then provide money to the fund, and more states are expected to follow this model.

Pay Attention to Colorado

One of the biggest callouts we need to make is SB 133 in Colorado. Businesses cannot dispose of electronic devices at solid waste landfills if the county you are in hosts an e-waste recycling program. Agencies and businesses have a larger burden and typically must recycle electronics.

It can be difficult to understand the laws and how they apply to you, especially if you have a supply chain that crosses state lines. Let’s have a conversation about your specific needs, so we can help your compliance and audit teams limit your risk of fines. 

State Program Links

The list below is proper as of December 2016. We’ll provide updates as new states enact legislation. You can also see a complete e-waste recycling regulation and law list provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures here.

State Statute Citation Year Enacted State Program Website
California Cal. Public Resources Code §§42460 to 42486 2003 Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. §§22a-629 to 22a-640 2007 Connecticut’s Electronics Recycling Law
Hawaii Hawaii Rev. Stat. §§339d-2 to 339d-6 2008 Electronic Device and Television Recycling Law
Illinois Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 415, §§150/1 to 150/999 2008 Electronic Waste Recycling
Indiana Ind. Code §§13-20.5-1-1 to 13-20.5-10-2 2009 Electronic Waste
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 38, §1610 2004 Electronics Recycling
Maryland Md. Environment Code Ann. §§9-1727 to 9-1730 2005 e-Cycling in MD
Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws §§324.17301 to 324.17333 2008 Electronic Waste Takeback Program
Minnesota Minn. Stat. §§115a.1310 to 115a.1330 2007 Minnesota’s Electronic Recycling Act
Missouri Mo. Rev. Stat. §§260.1050 to 260.1101 2008 Electronic Waste
New Jersey N.J. Rev. Stat. §§13:1E-99.94 to 13:1E-99.114 2008 E-Cycle New Jersey
New York N.Y. Environmental Conservation Law §§27-2601 to 27-2621 2010 E-Waste Recycling
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. §§130A-309.130 to 130A-309.141 2007 North Carolina Electronics Management Program
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. tit. 27A, §§2-11-601 to 2-11-611 2008 E-Waste Information
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. §§459a.300 to 459a.365 2007 Electronics Waste
Pennsylvania Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 35, §§6031.101 to 6031.702 2010 Electronic Recycling Management Program
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws §§23-24.10-1 to 23-24.10-17 2008 Electronic Waste
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. §§48-60-05 to 48-60-150 2010 Electronics
Texas Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. §§361.951 to 361.966 2007 Electronics Recycling and Waste Reduction
Utah Utah Code Ann. §§19-6-1201 to 19-6-1205 2011 None Found
Vermont Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, §§7551 to 7564 2010 Vermont e-Cycles
Virginia Va. Code §§10.1-1425.27 to 10.1-1425.38 2008 Virginia’s Computer Recovery and Recycling Act
Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§70.95n.010 to 70.95n.902 2006 E-Cycle Washington
West Virginia W.Va. Code §§22-15A-22 to 22-15A-28 2008 E-Waste West Virginia
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. §287.17 2009 E-Cycle Washington

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