Electronic Waste Recycling – Maine

Maine’s e-Waste law passed in 2003 represents a partnership between the private sector, the public sector and consumers. The legislature wrote in the law that "the purpose of this section is to establish a comprehensive electronics recycling system that ensures the safe and environmentally sound handling, recycling and disposal of electronic products and components and encourages the design of electronic products and components that are less toxic and more recyclable."

Nolater than July 20, 2006, municipalities must ensure that waste televisions and computer monitors generated by households in Maine are recycled. Prior to that, beginning January 18, 2006, manufacturers must pay the cost of consolidation and recycling of these items when they are handled by specified consolidators.

  • Municipalities are responsible for ensuring a system for delivery of residential waste televisions and computer monitors to a consolidation facility in Maine. Each municipality decides whether it wants to operate an on-going collection center, do regular one-day collections, or have their residents deliver directly to a near-by consolidator.
  • Each manufacturer is responsible for paying the consolidators for the costs of handling, transportation and recycling of their own television and computer monitor products plus a pro rata share of orphan products from receipt at the consolidator through recycling. Also, each manufacturer must provide Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with a plan for compliance by March 1, 2005, and annual reports on the recycling of its products generated as waste in Maine.
  • Consolidation facilities are responsible for counting waste household televisions and computer monitors by manufacturer, and for annually providing this accounting to Maine DEP (consolidators may contract with recyclers to provide the count by manufacturer). Consolidation facilities are also responsible for shipping only to recyclers that provide certification of meeting Maine ‘s ESM Guidelines , and for billing manufacturers for allowable costs.
  • Recyclers are responsible for providing consolidators with a sworn statement that its handling, processing, refurbishment and recycling of computer monitors and televisions meet environmentally sound management guidelines published by Maine DEP.
  • Retailers are responsible for ensuring they only sell products of manufacturers that are in compliance with Maine ‘s E-Waste Law.
  • Maine DEP is responsible for publishing Environmentally Sound Management Guidelines for recyclers, for adopting rules on allowable costs, and for annually calculating each manufacturer’s pro rata share of orphan products.

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