The e-waste laws in the United States are different from state to state. In this blog post, we will discuss the various regulations that apply to your location and guide you on what you can do to make sure that your company is compliant with them regardless of where you are operating from.
The first state to enact an e-recycling law was California, which did so in 2003. Since then, 27 additional states and the District of Columbia have passed laws addressing electronic waste. That leaves 22 states with no specific legislation, although private companies, NGOs, and local governments operate take-back programs in many locations.
Connecticut E-waste recycling laws: Connecticut is one of the states that has a specific e-waste recycling law. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) defines electronic products as “any device or apparatus, more than two inches wide by three inches tall by five inches long, which consumes electric energy in whole or part through the use of integrated circuits.”
The DEEP requires all retailers who sell such items to offer free take-back for consumers when purchasing new equipment from those stores. In addition, manufacturers must assume responsibility for their products at the end-of-life stage. However, companies have been granted an extension on this regulation until May 2013 so that waste management infrastructure can be set up first.
Kansas E-Waste Recycling Laws: Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) defines Electronic scrap as “any device or apparatus, more than two inches wide by three inches tall by five inches long, which consumes electric energy in whole or part through the use of integrated circuits.” The KDHE does not require any companies to participate in e-waste recycling programs for consumers or businesses. However, it should be noted that manufacturers are required to develop plans designed to keep electronic equipment out of landfills while encouraging reusability wherever possible.
Kentucky E-Wastes laws: In Kentucky, there are no statewide regulations regarding the export/import of electronic waste products nor on what manufacturers must do to offer recycling services. That being said, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is offering a grant to pilot an electronics buyback program at local counties in 2018, with priority given to those that provide curbside pick-up service.
Massachusetts E-Waste Laws: Massachusetts has one of the more stringent e-waste laws out there regarding manufacturers participating in take-back programs. The state’s electronic waste law (Act 39) requires any company that manufactures or imports products containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs) into the state to set up a take-back program.
Illinois E-Waste Laws: In Illinois, the Responsible Recycling (RRI) Act sets out clear guidelines for manufacturers concerning product design and recycling. Electronic waste is defined as “any electronic device or part thereof that has reached the end of its useful life,” according to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The RRI rules state that any company that produces or imports into the country such items must set up an electronic waste recycling program that covers at least 60 percent of its products. It also needs to be available for free to consumers within 50 miles. Manufacturers are responsible for any transportation costs beyond this distance and those incurred by local governments in handling e-waste through reverse logistics.
New York E-Waste Laws: The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (EERA) is the state of New York’s e-waste recycling law that went into effect on January 24, 2010. This act forbids manufacturers or retailers from throwing electronic goods containing cathode ray tubes in landfills and requires them to develop a take-back program for customers.
Pennsylvania E-Waste Laws: The Electronic Device Recycling Act (EDRA) is the Pennsylvania e-waste recycling law that went into effect on January 24, 2012.
New Jersey E-Waste Laws: The New Jersey Electronic Waste Recovery and Recycling Act (EWRA) is the state of New Jersey’s e-waste recycling law that went into effect on December 17, 2010.
Maryland E-Waste Laws: Maryland’s e-waste law is known as the Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act (EPRA) which went into effect on January 19, 2010. Under EPRA, manufacturers or importers of electronic products such as computers, laptops, CRT televisions, and monitors; laptops, desktop computers, and portable computers are required to have a take-back recycling program in place.
South Carolina: South Carolina’s e-waste law is known as the Responsible Recycling Act, which went into effect on July 25, 2010. Under this act, manufacturers are required to have to take back recycling programs in place.
Different states have different laws regarding electronic waste disposal and recycling. The best way to understand your state’s e-waste laws is to conduct a detailed analysis. Make sure you follow the state-mentioned protocols when disposing of electronic waste. If you are unsure what the guidelines are and don’t want to waste your time studying them, you can contact a recycling center and let them deal with everything.