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Covered Electronic Equipment Manufacturer Requirements

The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (Act), which is based on the concept of product stewardship or extended producer responsibility, places responsibility for managing end-of-life covered electronic equipment primarily on manufacturers, with oversight by the Department of Environmental Conservation (Department).

The Act enables a manufacturer of covered electronic equipment (CEE) to meet its collection requirements through an individual or collective electronic waste acceptance program. For a full description of requirements that apply to manufacturers of CEE, please review the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (Environmental Conservation Law, Article 27, Title 26).

Who Qualifies as a Manufacturer?

A "manufacturer" assembles or substantially assembles CEE for sale in the state; manufactures CEE under its own brand name or under any other brand name for sale in the state; sells, under its own brand name, CEE sold in the state; owns a brand name that it licenses to another person for use on CEE sold in the state; imports CEE for sale in the state; or manufactures CEE for sale in the state without affixing a brand name.

If more than one entity meets the definition of a manufacturer for a brand of CEE, any entity may assume responsibility for the obligation to collect and recycle that brand. If none of those entities assume responsibility for the obligations of a manufacturer, any and all entities are subject to enforcement as responsible manufacturers for the recycling of the CEE.

A manufacturer who assembles or substantially assembles, and sells less than one thousand units of CEE annually in the state, or whose primary business is the sale of CEE which is comprised primarily of rebuilt, refurbished or used components is not considered a manufacturer under the Act. For a manufacturer meeting the exemption of selling less than one thousand units of CEE annually in the state, please provide notification to the Department including the manufacturer's name, address, its equipment's brand names, types of equipment sold, and current annual sales volume into the state. Please send notification via e-mail or to the following address:

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Materials Management
Product Stewardship & Waste Reduction Section
625 Broadway, 9th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7253

Summary of Manufacturers' Requirements:

  1. Submit a one-time registration. A manufacturer must submit a one-time online certified registration to the Department via the E-waste Online Registration and Reporting System prior to selling or offering for sale CEE in the state.
  2. Submit a registration fee. A manufacturer must submit a registration fee of $5,000 to the Department if operating an individual electronic waste acceptance program, prior to offering for sale CEE in the state. The registration fee is waived for a manufacturer participating in a collective electronic waste acceptance program (collective).
  3. Provide a continuous electronic waste acceptance program. A manufacturer, either individually or through its collective, must provide a continuous electronic waste acceptance program to consumers. Such acceptance programs must, at a minimum:
    • Be provided at no cost to consumers. The manufacturer cannot charge most consumers for the collection, handling and recycling and reuse of electronic waste. A manufacturer is only allowed to charge in the following instances:
      • if a contract for services was in place prior to January 1, 2011;
      • if the consumer is a for-profit entity with 50 or more full-time employees (FTEs) or a not-for-profit entity with 75 or more FTEs; or
      • if a premium service is provided. Premium services are any services above and beyond the reasonably convenient acceptance methods defined in the Act. These include equipment and data security services, refurbishment for reuse by the consumer, and other custom services as may be determined by the Department such as at-home collection (when a reasonably convenient method of acceptance is available to the consumer), data wiping, specialized packing and preparation for collection, etc.
    • Provide for the convenient collection, handling and recycling or reuse of electronic waste. A manufacturer must provide at least one reasonably convenient method of collection within each county and within each municipality with a population of 10,000 or greater. At this time, the following acceptance methods are considered reasonably convenient:
      • collection or acceptance events conducted by the manufacturer or the manufacturer's agent or designee, including events conducted through local governments or private parties;
      • fixed acceptance locations such as dedicated acceptance sites operated by the manufacturer or its agent or designee;
      • agreements with local governments, retail stores, sales outlets and not-for-profit organizations which have agreed to provide facilities for the collection of electronic waste;
      • mail or ship back return programs; and
      • any combination of these or other acceptance methods which effectively provide for the acceptance of electronic waste for recycling or reuse through means that are available and reasonably convenient to consumers in the state.
    • Accept all required electronic waste.
      • A manufacturer of CEE must accept for collection, handling and recycling or reuse electronic waste for which it is the manufacturer.
      • A manufacturer of CEE must also accept one piece of electronic waste of any manufacturer's brand if offered by a consumer, with the purchase of CEE of the same type by a consumer.
      • At a minimum, a manufacturer must accept for reuse or recycling a sufficient amount of electronic waste to meet the manufacturer's acceptance standard. The manufacturer's acceptance standard is the product of the statewide recycling goal multiplied by the manufacturer's market share of CEE, which will be provided via the E-waste Online Registration and Reporting System to the manufacturer annually after annual reports for the prior program year containing updated sales information have been reviewed.
    • Take actions to increase electronic waste collection if found to be under-performing.
    • Provide a public education program. The public education program must inform consumers about the manufacturer's electronic waste acceptance program, and must provide sufficient information to allow a consumer of CEE to return CEE for recycling or reuse, and must include:
      • an easily-accessible and up-to-date internet website, which includes:
        • details on how the consumer may use the acceptance program's free and convenient acceptance methods, including the identification of collection sites, facilities, and events, as well as hours of operation, CEE types and brands accepted at each location or event;
        • details on how the consumer may use the acceptance program's free and convenient mailback program, if applicable;
        • details on how the consumer may use the acceptance program's free and convenient acceptance methods for both the manufacturer's brand(s), as well as other manufacturers' brands to meet the one-for-one acceptance requirement; and
        • in the case of manufacturers of computers, hard drives and other CEE that have internal memory on which personal or other confidential data can be stored, instructions for how consumers can destroy such data before surrendering the products for recycling or reuse.
      • a toll-free telephone number and e-mail address to which consumers are able to inquire about recycling opportunities; and
      • written information either included in the product manual for, or at the time of sale of CEE, that provides a consumer of CEE to information on how to return CEE for recycling or reuse.
  4. Provide information to retailers. A manufacturer or its representing collective must provide the following information to retailers:
    • A notification that the manufacturer is registered with the Department.
    • If written information regarding the manufacturer's electronic waste acceptance program is not included in the manufacturer's CEE product manual, then the manufacturer or its representing collective must provide information on the manufacturer's electronic waste acceptance program to retailers for distribution to consumers purchasing CEE.
  5. Properly label CEE. A manufacturer may not offer for sale in the state or deliver to retailers for subsequent sale CEE unless it has a visible, permanent label clearly identifying the manufacturer of that equipment.
  6. Comply with disposal ban. A manufacturer or its acceptance program may not dispose of electronic waste at a solid waste management facility or hazardous waste management facility, or place electronic waste for collection which is intended for disposal at a solid waste management facility or hazardous waste management facility.
  7. Maintain records. A manufacturer shall maintain records on site demonstrating compliance with the Act, and make them available for audit and inspection by the Department for a period of three years.
  8. Submit an annual report form and annual reporting fee. A manufacturer must submit an online certified annual report to the Department via the E-waste Online Registration and Reporting System and $3,000 annual reporting fee by March 1st annually for the previous year. A manufacturer will be invoiced for this annual fee, and may submit payment via paper check or electronically. If a manufacturer does not receive its mailed invoice by February 1st, it should contact the Department.
  9. Update information. Material changes (i.e. changes to primary program contact, acceptance program offering, etc.) to information previously provided to the Department must be submitted within 30 days of the material change.
  10. Conduct credit transactions appropriately, if applicable. A manufacturer that accepts more than its acceptance standard for the previous year will be issued electronic waste acceptance credits, available for use, sale, or trade beginning in the year after their generation. Rules for credit transactions and usage include:
    • Credits may not be purchased or sold in the same program year they were generated.
    • No more than 25% of a manufacturer's acceptance standard for any program year may be met with credits generated in a prior program year.
    • Credits expire 3 years after the program year in which they were generated.
    • Credits must be applied and sold in a first-in, first-out order.
    • Credits purchased by a manufacturer in a program year must be applied to that year's acceptance standard, and may not be used to meet subsequent years' obligations.
    • A manufacturer cannot sell credits it has purchased.
    • If anticipating a surcharge, a manufacturer must use any available credits to cover it.
  11. Submit surcharge payment, if applicable. Each registered manufacturer and collective organization must regularly monitor its acceptance program and engage with all program partners throughout the year to ensure it is performing effectively and on track to meet its assigned minimum acceptance standard. If acceptance programs are found to be under-performing during any period of the program year, manufacturers and/or their collective representatives must consider and implement actions to increase electronic waste collection to ensure every effort is made to meet minimum acceptance standards.

    The Act provides that any manufacturer who fails to meet its manufacturer's acceptance standard for the previous calendar year shall be subject to a per pound recycling surcharge for under-collection as prescribed in statute. If necessary, the Department will accept and evaluate a recycling surcharge waiver application from any manufacturer who falls short of meeting its assigned acceptance standard minimum despite its clearly-demonstrated best efforts. A completed recycling surcharge waiver application form (672 KB PDF) must be attached to the manufacturer's online annual report for the prior program year by March 1st.

    In order to be considered by the Department, the recycling surcharge waiver application must include, at a minimum:
    • details of the manufacturer's prior year acceptance program including a description of how that manufacturer's acceptance program met the minimum convenience requirements of Section 27-2605(5) of the Act, continuously throughout the program year, and with no charge to the consumer;
    • a description of the actions taken by the manufacturer to track and forecast electronic waste collection throughout the state, including dates these actions were taken;
    • a description of any actions taken by the manufacturer during the prior program year to increase electronic waste collection (e.g., additional acceptance methods or incentives for collection provided, etc.) after the potential for a shortfall was realized, including dates these actions were taken; and
    • a description of any actions taken by the manufacturer to improve its acceptance program's public education and outreach efforts, including dates these actions were taken.
    ​If the recycling surcharge waiver application is denied by the Department, any surcharge due must be paid within 30 days of the invoice date to avoid penalty charges. ECL Article 71, Title 27, Section 71-2729(1)(c)(i) sets forth that any manufacturer who fails to submit its surcharge, shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each day such surcharge is not submitted.

    If the recycling surcharge waiver application is approved by the Department, the approved recycling surcharge waiver application does not relieve a manufacturer from the obligation to comply with any other provision of the Act except payment of a recycling surcharge.

Recommended Actions to Increase Electronic Waste Collection

Each registered manufacturer and collective organization must regularly monitor its acceptance program and engage with all program partners throughout the year to ensure it is performing effectively and on track to meet its assigned minimum acceptance standard. Any manufacturer who fails to meet its manufacturer's acceptance standard for the previous calendar year shall be subject to a per pound recycling surcharge for under-collection as prescribed in statute. If acceptance programs are found to be under-performing during any period of the program year, manufacturers and/or their collective representatives must explore other opportunities and implement actions to ensure every effort is made to meet minimum acceptance standards, and ultimately avoid costly recycling surcharges. Examples of actions that may be taken to increase electronic waste collection include, but are not limited to:

  1. Expand Current Collection Infrastructure. Manufacturers and/or their collective representatives are encouraged to explore all possibilities to expand their current acceptance program infrastructure within the state. If the established recycling infrastructure is found to be underperforming, manufacturers should engage with additional recycling facilities, consolidation facilities and collection sites operating within the state in an effort to expand their recycling networks.

  2. Implement Additional Methods of Acceptance. If the current acceptance methods offered to consumers through the manufacturer or collective acceptance program are not yielding the desired results, additional methods of acceptance to the current offering must be considered. Each method offered could be expanded to accept all brands and all types of covered electronic equipment. Limiting the brands/types accepted discourages consumer use. Does the current acceptance program not include collection events? Offering safe collection events (e.g., drive-up or by appointment) is one option that could generate a significant amount of weight for programs. Another suggestion would be to expand the manufacturer's current mail back program to accept all brands and all types of covered electronic equipment. If the current shipping carrier utilized by the program has significant size/weight limitations, consider other carriers. If one acceptance method is not yielding the desired acceptance results for a particular type of equipment, consider switching to a different convenient acceptance method that is more practicable for the types of equipment to be returned.

  3. Improve Public Education Program. The Department receives numerous calls and e-mails from consumers who are unaware of where and how to properly dispose/recycle their electronic waste. Manufacturer and collective public education programs should be improved to increase consumer awareness. All forms of public education methods (e.g., print, broadcast, outdoor advertising, public service announcements, social media, e-mail advertising, etc.) should be employed to promote consumer awareness of recycling opportunities available. Acceptance programs should also ensure that their public education websites are kept up-to-date and are easy for consumers to navigate.

  4. Create Incentives for E-waste Collection. Implement manufacturer programs to entice consumers to return their electronic waste. Manufacturers or acceptance programs could issue vouchers for a dollar amount or percentage off a new product when a consumer returns a piece of electronic waste for recycling. Holiday seasons are the perfect opportunity to advertise programs where consumers are incentivized to return for recycling electronic waste stored in their basements. A rebate program for returned electronic waste could also be offered.


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