Topic:
TELEVISION; RECYCLING; COMPUTERS; HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT; SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT;
Location:
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT-RECYCLING;

OLR Research Report


February 27, 2006

 

2006-R-0182

ELECTRONICS RECYCLING IN CALIFORNIA, MAINE AND MARYLAND

By: Paul Frisman, Principal Analyst

You asked for a point-by-point comparison of the California, Maine, and Maryland electronics waste laws. We compare them in Table I, below. See also OLR Report 2005-R-0077 (attached) which provides additional information on the California and Maine laws.

Table I: Electronics Waste (E-waste) Recycling Programs in California, Maine and Maryland

 

California

Maine

Maryland

Statutory citation

Cal. Public Resources Code 42460

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Title 38, 1610

Md. Code Ann. Environment 9-1701**

What products

does it include?

Cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and computer monitors with screens that measure more that 4” diagonally;

laptop computers with LCD displays more than 4” diagonally; and plasma TVs

TVs and computer monitors with screens that measure more than 4” diagonally

The law requires labeling, but not recycling, of CPUs

Desktop personal computers, laptop computers, and computer monitors

Does not include

Computer central processing units (CPUs)

Video displays that are part of a motor vehicle; in commercial, industrial or medical equipment; or in a household appliance

A car, household appliance or large piece of commercial, commercial medical, or industrial equipment that contains an integral CRT or video display device

TVs, Personal Digital Assistant devices (“PDAs”), or computer peripheral (e.g., mouse, detached keyboard, printer)

Applies to

Households and businesses

Households

Does not specify

TABLE 1: CONTINUED

 

California

Maine

Maryland

Include Internet sales?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Include leases?

Yes

No

No

Basics

Buyer pays retailer an “advance recycling fee” of $6 to $10, (depending on screen size) at time of purchase

Retailer remits fee to state

Shared responsibility by towns, “consolidators,” and manufacturers

Towns must develop systems to collect e-waste and bring it to a consolidation (storage) facility for recycling

Consolidators identify the proportion of TVs and monitors they receive by manufacturer. They must report to the state on the number of TVs and monitors they receive, by manufacturer, starting March 1, 2007

Consolidators

bill each manufacturer for the cost of handling, transporting to a recycler, and recycling, based on the share of e-waste each manufacturer generates

Responsibility for transportation costs depend on how much e-waste is picked up at a single site.

Manufacturers pay for transportation, including pick- up from a municipal site, if the consolidator picks up at least 16,000 pounds of e-waste at a single municipal collection site. Municipalities bear the transportation costs for less than these full loads

Local governments may charge households an end-of-life fee at collection points to cover their transportation costs

Manufacturers who produced an average of more than 1,000 computers annually in the preceding three years pay the state an annual registration fee

Manufacturers pay an initial fee of $5,000; subsequent annual fees are either $500 or $5,000, depending on whether the manufacturer has begun a computer takeback program in the preceding year. The takeback program must be free for the person returning the device

A manufacturer is the brand owner or importer of a computer sold in Maryland

TABLE 1: CONTINUED

 

California

Maine

Maryland

Where does the

money go?

Retailer retains 3%; state uses remainder to pay authorized e-waste collectors and recyclers

California reimburses recyclers 48 per pound. Recyclers pay collectors a 20 per pound recovery fee

A collector can be a municipality, nonprofit organization, manufacturer, or other entity

 

Manufacturer fees are deposited in a State Recycling Trust Fund, which provides grants to (1) counties that voluntarily develop separate computer recycling programs as part of their state-required recycling programs, and (2) municipalities to start local computer recycling programs

How are products collected?

From consumers to a participating collector or recycler

Municipalities collect them and bring them to a consolidator. Consolidators ship them to recyclers

By counties, as part of their recycling plans

By manufacturers through computer takeback plans

How are “orphan”* products handled?

Not directly addressed. Costs paid out of advance recycling fee

Manufacturers pay a pro-rated fee.

Not specifically addressed

Program Evaluation

 

Maine Department of Environment must report on e-waste recycling by January 15, 2008, and every two years afterwards until January 15, 2014

Maryland Department of Environment must study program's effectiveness and issue report by December 1, 2008

Sources: Individual states, the Council on State Governments, and the Computer Takeback Campaign.

*Orphan products are computers whose manufacturer is no longer in business or cannot be identified.

**Pilot program, ends December 31, 2010.

PF:dw