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Requirements for Retailers of Electronic Equipment

Retailer Requirements under the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act

Retailers that sell covered electronic equipment (CEE) have a very important role to play in the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (Act). The Act defines a retailer as a person who sells CEE in the state through any means, including, but not limited to, transactions conducted through retail sales outlets, mail, catalogs, telephone, the internet or other electronic means. A retailer does not include a person who sells or offers for sale fewer than 10 items of CEE during a calendar year.

Retailers' responsibilities are detailed in Section 27-2607 of the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, and are summarized below:

  1. Provide information to consumers. At the point of sale, retailers must provide purchasers of CEE with information about opportunities for the return of electronic waste, if any has been provided to the retailer by the manufacturer.
  2. Sell only compliant brands. Retailers are prohibited from selling any CEE in the state unless:
    • the manufacturer and its brands are registered with the Department. The Department maintains a list of registered manufacturers and their brands on its website, and manufacturers are required to notify retailers that they are registered. The retailer should check this list regularly as newly-registered manufacturers and brands are frequently updated; or
    • the manufacturer and its brands are not registered with the Department because the manufacturer sells less than 1,000 units of CEE annually into the state. If a brand of CEE is not listed on the Department's website, the retailer should check with the Department to see if it may legally be sold in the state.
  3. Sell only labeled equipment. A retailer may only offer for sale in the state CEE that has a visible, permanent label clearly identifying the manufacturer of that equipment.
  4. Comply with disposal ban. No retailer in the state may 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.
  5. Register and comply with the requirements of an electronic waste collection site, if intending to accept electronic waste from consumers at the retail location.

Wireless Telephone Service Supplier Requirements

There is a separate NYS Wireless Telephone Recycling Act (Environmental Conservation Law, Article 27, Title 23*2), applicable to all wireless service suppliers who engage in the retail sales of wireless cell phones whether the sales are in their own stores, or in other stores, outlets or kiosks. The law also applies to any retailer who acts as an agent of the wireless telephone service supplier by selling the telephone and wireless telephone service. Each wireless telephone service supplier engaged in the retail sale of wireless telephones is required to:

  1. accept, at no charge, up to 10 used wireless telephones from any person during the normal business hours of such business; or offer to any person at no charge, the shipping of used wireless telephones to a recycling program conducted by such business. Information about such a program shall be readily available at such business locations and on its website;
  2. conspicuously post a sign open to public view, clearly indicating that used wireless telephones are accepted or shipping is provided at no charge. Such signs may also state that used wireless telephones shall only be accepted during normal business hours, and may state such hours; and
  3. take reasonable steps to ensure each used wireless telephone accepted or shipped shall either be recycled, reused or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. All collected wireless telephones must be sent for reuse, refurbishment followed by reuse, given to charity if useable, or sent for recycling and scrap metal recovery. To avoid complex regulatory and management requirements, collected wireless telephones must not be disposed in the trash at the collection site, or at a later point in the return chain. Wireless telephone suppliers are required to demonstrate, and be able to prove through documentation, that the used cell phones collected were properly directed for recycling or reuse. Documentation would include a description of the activity and the name and address of the receiving facilities.

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    Division of Materials Management
    Product Stewardship & Waste Reduction Section
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    Albany, NY 12233-7253
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