Electronics: Legislation Update

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Legislative Update

The South Carolina Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience Information Technology Equipment Collection and Recovery Act (Act) became effective in 2011. The Act was passed in order to promote the recycling of electronic devices at the end of their useful life.  

Many electronic devices contain potentially hazardous material such as lead and mercury that can pose a hazard to human and environmental health if not properly managed. Electronics also contain valuable material such as gold, silver, copper, and other precious metals, that can be recovered through responsible recycling. Recycling these devices helps ensure that the valuable materials are recovered and reused, not disposed in landfills. 

To promote the recycling of electronic devices, the Act banned the landfill disposal of specific residential electronics, including desktop computers, laptop computers, printers, monitors, and televisions. The Act also added requirements and recovery obligations for manufacturers of electronic devices that sell such products in South Carolina. Additional requirements in the legislation specify standards for recycling these electronic devices. 

The requirements of the Act were due to expire on December 31, 2021, apart from Section 48-40-90, which bans the electronic devices from disposal in solid waste landfills. Repeal of the act could have many impacts, most especially for local government electronics recycling programs. Governor McMaster signed H. 4035 on May 17, 2021, which will postpone expiration until December 31, 2023.   

The Department of Health and Environmental Control invited a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss potential legislative alternatives and next steps to ensure electronics are managed in a way that is protective of the environment, promotes recovery of useful materials and provides an equitable distribution of responsibilities. More details on this ongoing process can be seen here

For more information, please email swregdev@dhec.sc.gov.