New Jersey bans disposal of electronic waste
In addition to the disposal ban, the new Electronic Waste Recycling Act requires electronics producers to pay state registration fees from $5,000 a year.
According to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, consumer electronics, with their circuit boards, batteries and liquid crystal displays, generate a toxic waste stream of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) responsible for contaminating landfills and ground water.
Corzine says he has asked the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to work with the bill’s sponsors to further refine the provisions of the law and ensure fairness and equity in its application and administration.
The new law will make it as easy for New Jersey residents to responsibly dispose of their electronic products as it is for them to purchase them.
The law will require every retailer to clearly post and provide information from the DEP that will describe how and where to recycle the covered electronic devices.
The DEP will provide a Web site, a toll-free telephone number, information included in the packaging or information with the sale of an electronic device covered under the law, such as a television or copier.
The new law directs the DEP to post a plan that will establish the per-capita collection and recycling goals for consumer electronic products and maintain lists of all manufacturers in compliance with the act’s requirements as well as names of collectors, transporters, and recyclers that meet specific performance standards.
Manufacturers or groups of manufacturers conducting their own collection, transportation and recycling programs will submit annual reports to the DEP that will include the results of an auditable sampling with the weight of the electronic waste as well as documentation verifying collection and recycling.
Manufacturers that collect, transport and recycle covered electronic devices in excess of their obligation may sell their excess credits to another registrant or apply the excess credits to the following year’s recycling obligation.
Any manufacturer that fails to comply with the terms of its approved plan will be required to pay the DEP to cover the cost of collecting, transporting and recycling the unmet portion of its obligation, plus a penalty fee equal to the cost of collecting, transporting and recycling 10 percent of the manufacturer’s total obligation.
New Jersey joins California, Connecticut, Washington, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Oregon as states that have enacted laws to control e-waste and encourage the recycling of electronic products.