Legislative Recycling Mandates
Regulations Governing Management of Used Electronics
Legislative Mandates for Electronics Recovery: At
present, there is no Federal mandate to recycle
e-waste. There have been numerous attempts to develop
a Federal law. However, to date, there is no consensus
on a Federal approach.
Mandatory Electronics Recovery Programs: Many states
have instituted mandatory electronics recovery programs.
The following Web sites provide regularly updated
information on state e-waste legislation:
NOTE: Currently Arizona has no regulatory
legislation for eWaste companies.
Governing Management of Used Electronics
electronics (such as color CRTs computer monitors,
color CRT TV tubes, and smaller items such as cell
phones and other “hand-helds”) test
“hazardous” under Federal law. If so,
they are subject to special handling requirements
under Federal law, subject to certain exemptions.
encourages reuse and recycling of used electronics,
including those that test “hazardous.”
To facilitate more reuse and recycling of these
products, EPA has less stringent management requirements
for products bound for reuse and recycling. Specifics
or Donation: Computer monitors and televisions sent
for continued use (i.e., resale or donation) are
not considered hazardous wastes.
Regulatory Requirements for Recycling of CRTs: EPA
encourages recycling of CRTs. Thus, CRTs sent for
recycling are subject to streamlined handling requirements.
For more information on the CRT Rule, including
export requirements and frequent questions please
see Cathode Ray Tubes Final Rule.
Regulatory Requirements for Circuit Boards within
the United States: Circuit Boards are subject to
a special exemption from Federal hazardous waste
Whole unused circuit boards are considered unused
commercial chemical products, which are unregulated.
Whole used circuit boards meet the definition
of spent materials but also meet the definition
of scrap metal. Therefore, whole used circuit
boards that are recycled are exempt from the hazardous
Shredded circuit boards are excluded from the
definition of solid waste if they are containerized
(i.e., fiberpaks) prior to recovery. These shredded
circuit boards cannot contain mercury switches,
mercury relays, nickel cadmium batteries, or lithium
batteries. If these materials are not treated
this way, then they are considered hazardous waste
and must be treated as such.
This discussion summarizes relevant federal regulatory
requirements. For the complete federal hazardous
waste requirements for generators, consult 40 CFR
Regulatory Requirements for Disposal CRTs and Other
Electronics that Test “Hazardous”
* Large Quantities Sent for Disposal: Wastes from
facilities that generate over 100 kilograms (about
220 lb.) per month of hazardous waste are regulated
under Federal law when disposed. CRTs from such
facilities sent for disposal (as opposed to reuse,
refurbishment or recycling) must be manifested and
sent as “hazardous waste” to a permitted
hazardous waste landfill.
* Small Quantities Exempt: Businesses and other
organizations that send for disposal (as opposed
to reuse, refurbishment or recycling) less than
100 kilograms (about 220 pounds) per month of hazardous
waste are not required to handle this material as
hazardous waste. If a “small quantity generator”
wishes to dispose of a small quantity of CRTs or
other used electronics that test hazardous under
Federal law, these materials can go to any disposal
facility authorized to receive solid waste (e.g.,
a municipal landfill), unless state law requires
more stringent management (e.g., CA).
* Household Exemption for Electronics Sent to Disposal:
Used computer monitors or televisions generated
by households are not considered hazardous waste
and are not regulated under Federal regulations.
State laws may be more stringent as reqards electronics
from households (e.g., CA).
Regulatory Requirements for Disposal of Electronics
that Test “Hazardous” State regulatory
requirements for e-waste can be more stringent than
the Federal requirements, and vary from state to
state. California considers CRTs to be spent materials
and regulates all CRT as hazardous waste, i.e. they
are banned from landfills. Other states ,such as
Massachusetts and Florida, have taken steps to streamline
hazardous waste regulations for CRTs, reducing special
handling requirements if these products are directed
to recycling, Many states are developing Universal
Waste exemptions for CRT which also streamline management
of CRTs bound for recycling. If you are planning
on disposing used CRTs (or other electronics that
test “hazardous” under state or Federal
law), check relevant state requirements, which might
be different from federal regulatory requirements.
Miners meets or exceeds the standards set by the
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