Unwanted electronics are one of the nation's fastest growing waste streams. Often called e-scrap, electronics contain potentially hazardous material such as lead and mercury that can pose a risk to human health and the environment if not properly managed. Electronics also contain valuable material such as precious metals that can be recovered through responsible recycling. The recycling of electronics, beyond protecting the environment and conserving resources, also provides the raw material for recycling businesses and creates jobs.
The South Carolina Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience Information Technology Equipment Collection and Recovery Act (“the Act) was passed in 2010 to encourage recycling of computers, printers, televisions and computer monitors, also known as “covered devices,” per the Act. The Act did this by imposing a prohibition on disposing these devices in landfills and creating recycling obligations for electronics manufacturers.
Revisions to this law were passed by the legislature during the 2021-2022 legislative session. H. 4775 revises the Act with the following:
- Updates to the Act’s definitions to ensure that they are more consistent with technological advances.
- Changing the current 80% pounds obligation for television and computer monitor manufacturers to a convenience standard.
- Counties who elect to participate will be guaranteed a minimum number of permanent collection sites or one-day events, based on population. Manufacturers will pay to transport and recycle all collected material from mutually agreed-upon program collection points.
- Municipalities with more than 17,000 persons will be able to opt-in to another county’s program if their county elects not to participate.
- Television and computer monitor manufacturers will participate individually or as part of a manufacturer’s clearinghouse. A manufacturer’s clearinghouse’s recycling program will be approved by the Department and must adhere to the allocation methodology which ensures larger manufacturers will provide more coverage than smaller ones.
- Pushing the sunset date to December 31, 2029, and create a mechanism to initiate stakeholder proceedings in 2026 to review the act and provide recommendations to the legislature to ensure the act is kept up-to-date.
- Updates to requirements for recoverers and collectors of covered electronic devices to ensure human and environmental health is protected.
- Other changes to correct errors, references, and reorganize as necessary.
Use the resources under “Downloads & Links” to see how you are affected by H. 4775’s requirements.