Electronics Recycling: Local Governments

The South Carolina Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience Information Technology Equipment Collection and Recovery Act

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  • Passed in 2010 that banned the disposal of specific electronics in solid waste landfills (Section 48-60-90); effective July 1, 2011. Given that, the legislation established requirements for landfill owners and operators in regards to keeping covered computer and television devices from being disposed of in the state's landfills.
  • Revised on March 4, 2014 to add more specific requirements and recovery obligations for computer monitor and television manufacturers.
  • These new requirements are in addition to existing prohibitions on disposal of electronics in Class 1 and Class 2 landfills in South Carolina.
  • Most of the legislation will sunset on December 31, 2021. The Section that prohibits electronics to be knowingly disposed of in a solid waste landfill will remain in place (Section 48-60-90). Stakeholders should prepare now for the affects of these changes. 

To read the full Act, select 'Electronics Legislation' under 'Downloads & Links'.

Residents generally have three options to recycle their unwanted electronics: manufacturer take-back programs; retail outlets (e.g., Best Buy, Staples); and local government programs. Click here to view the list of retailer and manufacture take-back programs available. 

Requirements for local governments

The legislation (Section 48-60-140) requires that electronics collected through local government programs must be recovered in a manner that complies with all applicable federal, state and local requirements.

In addition, local governments must use a recycling vendor (recoverer) that - at a minimum - complies with the responsible recycling practices (R2) or other comparable industry or governmental standards. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control recognizes recoverers that have either (1) R2 or (2) e-Stewards certification .

Recommendations on managing local government electronics collection sites

Most county and many municipal governments offer collection sites for unwanted electronics from residents. While the size and type vary, local governments must operate the sites in a manner that protects human health and the environment. South Carolina's electronics legislation does not address the operation of collection sites for local governments, but does require (Section 48-60-140) that recycling vendors follow the industry's best management practices for collection and storage of electronics. Given that, it is recommended that local governments follow best management practices as outlined by the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse .

Computer monitor and television manufacturer obligations

South Carolina's electronics recycling legislation was revised in 2014 to add specific recovery obligations to computer monitor and television manufacturers (Section 48-60-50, 48-60-55, 48-60-140, 48-60-160). These obligations require a manufacturer of computer monitors or televisions to:

  1. Recycle or arrange to recycle 80 percent of the weight of computer monitors and television sold the previous year; or
  2. Join a representative organization (partnership) of manufacturers that provides recycling services to local governments proportionate to their market share for the previous year. Specifics of these requirements are outlined in the legislation.

Given that, it is recommended that local governments not only work closely with recycling vendors to ensure that the vendor is certified (i.e., R2, e-Stewards or equivalent), but also to understand what, if any, agreement the vendor has with a computer monitor or television manufacturer. This understanding may help local governments reduce their costs for recycling of electronics.

Contact

Woody Barnes or Jana White at e-register@dhec.sc.gov or at 1-800-768-7348.

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Recycling