Manufacturer Guide to Maine’s Electronic Waste Recycling Law

Following is a summary of the provisions of Maine’s E-Waste Law relevant to manufacturers. Complete references to the law can be found on the E-Waste web page.

Manufacturers

Maine’s E-Waste Law defines "Manufacturer" as an entity who:

  1. Manufactures or has manufactured a covered electronic device under its own brand or label;
  2. Sells, or has sold under its own brand or label a covered electronic device produced by other suppliers;
  3. Owns a brand that it licenses or licensed to another person for use on a covered electronic device; or
  4. Imports or has imported a covered electronic device into the United States that is manufactured by a person without a presence in the United States.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) holds the brand owner responsible for implementing the manufacturer requirements of the E-Waste Law, unless the brand owner does not have a presence in the United States, in which case the first importer of the brand is responsible.

Covered electronic devices

Covered electronic devices include:

• Computer monitors, including portable notebook computers, tablets, personal media players and digital picture frames with video displays greater than four inches (4”) measured diagonally;
• televisions, including portable DVD players, with video displays greater than four inches (4”) measured diagonally;
• Desktop printers, including multifunctional devices;
• Video game consoles designed for use with a monitor or television; and
• Computer central processing units. Please note that labeling is the only requirement of this law that applies to computer central processing units.

Products with cathode ray tubes or flat panel displays in which the cathode ray tube or flat panel display is contained within and not separate from the larger piece of equipment that are not subject to the law include: an automobile, a household appliance, a large piece of commercial or industrial equipment, such as commercial medical equipment, or other medical devices as that term is defined under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Sales prohibition

Manufacturers and retailers may not offer a covered electronic device for sale in Maine unless the manufacturer is in compliance with this law. Maine DEP maintains a “DO NOT SELL” list of non-compliant manufacturers and their brands and routinely notifies retailers when a manufacturer is added to this listing.

Manufacturer label required

A manufacturer may not offer a covered electronic device in Maine unless there is a visible, permanent label clearly identifying the manufacturer of that device affixed to it.

Manufacturer initial and annual submittals to Maine DEP

Maine’s E-Waste Law requires manufacturers to submit a registration to the Maine DEP prior to offering their products for sale in the state and by July 1 each year following. Historic manufacturers of computer monitors and desktop printers are also responsible for their products in Maine’s household waste stream, even if they are no longer producing or selling product in Maine.

Manufacturer responsibility for recycling

Manufacturers are individually responsible for the costs of handling and recycling, by approved consolidators, of all televisions, computer monitors, desktop printers and game consoles generated by Maine households, small businesses and nonprofits (less than 100 employees) and primary and secondary schools. This includes products manufactured by any business for which the manufacturer has assumed legal responsibility, as well as historic brands of computer monitors and desktop printers which appear in Maine’s waste stream, even if the manufacturer is no longer producing or selling that product in Maine.

Manufacturers of monitors and desktop printers are invoiced for their actual product in the waste stream plus any orphan share responsibility as determined by Maine DEP on a basis proportional to the best available data on products in the waste stream. Television and video game console manufacturers’ “recycling share” responsibility is determined proportional to market share so that recycling of all units is provided for, including orphans. Maine DEP annually determines each manufacturer’s orphan and/or recycling share based on the best available information, and provides this information to manufacturers and consolidators by December for the next calendar year.

Each year, the Maine DEP solicits applications from consolidators (experienced Universal Waste management companies) for approval to participate in Maine’s household e-waste program. Maine DEP evaluates these applications in accordance with standards set in its Chapter 415 regulations, Reasonable Costs for the Handling and Recycling of Electronic Waste (Word format, off-site). Maine DEP approves applicants who:

  • demonstrate the financial capacity and technical ability to perform in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations,
  • utilize recyclers that meet Maine’s Environmentally Sound Management Guidelines, and
  • offer a competitive cost schedule for transportation, handling & recycling.

Collection sites (mostly operated by municipalities) choose one of the approved consolidators to pick up their collected household electronics. The consolidators then record the weight and brand of each unit, or the total weight per shipment of televisions and game consoles, and invoice manufacturers on a monthly basis for their share of the waste stream. Manufacturers are responsible for paying invoices for allowable costs incurred by that consolidator within 90 days of receipt.

Monitor and desktop printer manufacturers have the option of having consolidators separate and store their product, and then taking responsibility for the transporting and recycling of their product from the consolidator. Under this “Option 1”, manufacturers are invoiced by the consolidators for the initial transportation and handling, and the manufacturer arranges for and pays the additional transportation to their selected recycler and the recycling.

Maine DEP contact information

Program web site: www.maine.gov/dep/waste/ewaste

Household E-Waste Program Manager:
Carole Cifrino, Environmental Specialist IV
Phone: 207-485-8160 Fax: 207-287-6220 carole.a.cifrino@Maine.gov

Manufacturer Registration contact:
Enid Mitnik, Environmental Specialist III
Phone: 207-287-8556 Fax: 207-287-6220 enid.mitnik@maine.gov

Data contact:
Susan Alderson, Planning & Research Associate I susan.a.alderson@maine.gov
Phone: 207-287-2806 Fax: 207-287-4774

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