Consolidators & Recyclers Guide to Maine’s Television and Computer Monitor Recycling Law

Shared Responsibility for Recycling

In the Spring of 2004, Maine enacted An Act to Protect the Public Health and the Environment by Providing for a System of Shared Responsibility for the Safe Collection and Recycling of Electronic Waste,
This law (38 MRSA §1610) establishes a system for the recycling of waste televisions and computer monitors generated by households in Maine.   Municipalities, consolidators, recyclers, manufacturers and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) all have responsibilities under this law. 

Products covered by this law

Products covered (“covered electronic devices”) are wastes generated by households, elementary and secondary schools, and small businesses and non profits with 100 fewer employees in Maine, including:

  • Computer monitors laptops,tablets, personal media players, digital picture frames, televisions, and portable DVD players with display screens greater than four inches (4”) measured diagonally
  • Desktop printers
  • Game Consoles

Products with cathode ray tubes or flat panel displays that are not subject to the law include:

  1. an automobile, a household appliance, a large piece of commercial or industrial equipment, such as commercial medical equipment, in which the cathode ray tube or flat panel display is contained within and not separate from the larger piece of equipment. 

Annual Consolidator approval by Maine DEP

Maine DEP accepts applications from businesses seeking to become an approved consolidator until October 1 of each year for the next calendar year.  A copy of the most recent application form is available at www.maine.gov/dep/waste/ewaste.  Approval is based on technical ability, financial capacity, and competitive costs.

Municipalities’ responsibilities for collection

Maine’s municipalities are responsible for providing their residents with a convenient system for collecting e-waste and for arranging pick up by consolidators approved by Maine DEP to bill recycling costs to the manufacturers.  Collection can be accomplished by an annual one-day collection, an on-going collection at a solid waste or recycling facility, or a contract with a local universal waste consolidation facility to allow residents to deliver their wastes directly to the facility. 

Manufacturers' responsibilities for recycling

Manufacturers are responsible for paying the consolidators’ costs of handling and recycling the covered electronic devices, plus at least some of the transportation costs. 

Consolidator responsibilities for handling covered electronic devices

Consolidators have five basic responsibilities under this law:

  1. Annually apply to Maine DEP for approval to participate in the household e-waste recycling program.
  2. Identify the manufacturer of each computer monitor, laptop, digital picture frame, and desktop printer, and maintain an accounting of each unit weight by brand and manufacturer.   Obtain the total weight and maintain an accounting of televisions and game consoles. Consolidators may contract with their recycling facilities to perform this accounting and provide the required information to them. 
  3. Semi-annually provide the Maine DEP with this accounting of covered electronic devices by manufacturer, brand and/or weight as required.
  4. Manage the household e-waste in accordance with Maine DEP Chapter 415 regulations, Reasonable Costs for the Handling and Recycling of Electronic Waste (Word format, off-site), and each manufacturer’s brands in accordance with their selected handling option (Maine DEP provides consolidators with the brand and manufacturer information needed to do this).  Consolidators invoice the manufacturers for its reasonable operational costs associated with the handling, transportation, and recycling costs of the e-waste for which each manufacturer is responsible.  
  5. Consolidators may only ship covered electronic devices to dismantlers and recyclers that provide the consolidator with a sworn certification that its handling, processing, refurbishment, and recycling meet Maine’s Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of E-Waste.  Consolidators must maintain a copy of the sworn certification from each recycler for a minimum of 3 years, and provide that certification to the Maine DEP as part of its annual application for approval and upon request.

Dismantling/Recycling facility responsibilities

Dismantlers and recycling facilities must manage household e-waste received under this program in accordance with the environmentally sound management guidelines published by the Maine DEP.  They must also provide consolidators with a sworn certification that their handling, processing, refurbishment, and recycling processes meet these guidelines.   

Contact

All submittals required by this law should be submitted to:

Maine Department of Environmental Protection
E-waste EPR Program
17 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0017

Staff contact:

Carole Cifrino, Environmental Specialist IV
Division of Solid Waste Management
Phone: 207-485-8160 or 207-287-2651, Fax: 207-287-7826
E-mail: carole.a.cifrino@Maine.gov