Introduced by Senator Ayer of Addison District, Senator Giard of Addison District and Senator Lyons of Chittenden District
Subject: Conservation; solid waste; electronic waste
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish statewide requirements for the collection, reuse, and recycling of electronic devices that contain hazardous substances.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE DISPOSAL OF ELECTRONIC WASTE
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. chapter 165 is added to read:
CHAPTER 165. MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES
§ 7201. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS
The general assembly finds and declares that:
(1) Televisions and computers are omnipresent in modern society, and the number of obsolete, worn-out, or otherwise used televisions and computers surely will increase.
(2) Used televisions, computers, laptop computers, and computer monitors contain lead, mercury, and other hazardous substances that pose a threat to human health and the environment if improperly disposed of at the end of the useful life of these products.
(3) Cathode ray tubes currently found in most discarded televisions and computer monitors are estimated to be the largest source of lead in the state’s municipal solid waste stream and, consequently, discarded cathode ray tubes pose significant problems for disposal.
(4) The raw material values of the materials contained within electronic products generally do not cover the cost of collection, transportation, and preparation for current reclamation processes.
(5) The reuse, repair, and recycling of televisions and computers protect public health and the environment by reducing the potential for the release of heavy metals and mercury from landfills into the environment; provide jobs; and conserve valuable landfill space.
(6) The responsibility for the sound environmental management and product stewardship of end-of-life products should be shared among the consumer, the manufacturer, the retailer, and state and local government waste management agencies.
(7) It is in the administrative and economic interest of the citizens of Vermont and all northeastern states to support a national or regional solution to coordinate an electronics device end-of-life management system.
(8) The general assembly finds that the establishment of a system to provide for the collection, reuse, and recycling of electronic devices in Vermont is consistent with the state’s duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, maintain and enhance the quality of the environment, conserve natural resources, prevent air, water, and land pollution, and stimulate economic growth.
(9) Therefore, it is the goal of the state to promote environmental stewardship by producers, processors, and consumers and to ensure that all covered electronic devices and their components are reused or recycled.
§ 7202. DEFINITIONS
For the purposes of this chapter:
(1) “Agency” means the Vermont agency of natural resources.
(2) “Annual total recovery” means the weight in pounds per capita set as the annual recovery goal by the agency multiplied by the state population as reported in the most recent U.S. Decennial Census.
(3) “Cathode ray tube” means a vacuum tube or picture tube used to convert an electronic signal into a visual image.
(4) “Computer” means an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high-speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and may include both a computer central processing unit and a monitor, but such term does not include an automated typewriter or typesetter or a portable hand-held calculator.
(5) “Consumer” means a person who purchases a covered electronic device.
(6) “Covered electronic devices” means desktops or personal computers, computer monitors, portable computers, desktop printers, cathode‑ray‑tube‑based televisions, and non-cathode-ray-tube-based televisions. “Covered electronic devices” do not include the following:
(A) A covered electronic device that is a part of a motor vehicle or any component part of a motor vehicle assembled by, or for, a vehicle manufacturer or franchised dealer, including replacement parts for use in a motor vehicle.
(B) A covered electronic device that is functionally or physically a part of a larger piece of equipment designed and intended for use in an industrial, commercial, or medical setting, including diagnostic, monitoring, or control equipment.
(C) A covered electronic device that is contained within a clothes washer, clothes dryer, refrigerator, freezer, microwave oven, conventional oven or range, dishwasher, room air conditioner, dehumidifier, or air purifier.
(D) Telephones of any type unless they contain a display area greater than four inches measured diagonally.
(7) “Covered electronic recycler” is a person that is approved by the agency of natural resources for compensation.
(8) “District” means a solid waste management district.
(9) “Manufacturer” means any person who, as of July 1, 2008 or thereafter, and irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of remote sale:
(A) Manufactures covered electronic devices under its own brand for sale in the state;
(B) Manufactures covered electronic devices for sale in the state without affixing a brand;
(C) Resells in this state covered electronic devices produced by other suppliers under its own brand or label; or
(D) Imports or exports covered electronic devices into the United States that are sold in this state. However, if a company from whom an importer purchases the merchandise has a presence or assets in the United States, that company shall be deemed to be the manufacturer.
(10) “Manufacturer’s brands” means a manufacturer’s name, brand name, or brand label, and all manufacturer’s names, brand names, and brand labels for which the manufacturer has legal responsibility, including those names, brand names, and brand labels of companies that have been acquired by the manufacturer.
(11) “Monitor” means the separate visual display component of a computer, whether sold separately or together with a computer processing unit/computer box, and includes a cathode ray tube, liquid crystal display, gas plasma, digital light processing, or other image projection technology greater than four inches when measured diagonally and includes its case, interior wires and circuitry, cable to the central processing unit, and power cord.
(12) “Person” means any individual, partnership, firm, joint stock company, corporation, association, trust, estate, or other legal entity.
(13) “Portable computer” means a computer and video display that can be carried as one unit by an individual.
(14) “Purchase” means the taking, by sale, of title or of the right to use in exchange for consideration.
(15) “Recycling” means any process in accordance with environmental standards established by the agency by which a covered electronic device that would otherwise become solid waste is collected, separated, and processed to be returned to use in the form of raw materials or products.
(16) “Reuse” means any operation by which a covered electronic device or component changes ownership for the same purpose for which it was originally put on the market and includes repair and the continued use of whole systems or components.
(17) “Retailer” means a person who owns or operates a business that sells new covered electronic devices in this state by any means to an end user, whether or not the retailer has a physical presence in this state.
(18) “Secretary” means the secretary of natural resources.
(19) “Sell” or “sale” means any transfer for consideration of title, including, but not limited to, transactions conducted through sales outlets, mail order, catalogues, the internet, or other means.
(21) “Television” means the stand-alone display system containing a cathode ray tube or any other type of display primarily intended to receive video programming via broadcast, having a viewable area greater than four inches when measured diagonally, able to adhere to standards of consumer video formats such as PAL, SECAM, NTSC, and HDTV and having the capability of selecting different broadcast channels and support sound capability.
(22) “Video display” means an output surface having a viewable area greater than four inches when measured diagonally that displays moving graphical images or visual representation or image sequences or pictures, showing a number of quickly changing images on a screen in fast succession to create the illusion of motion, including, if applicable, a device that is an integral part of the display (and cannot be easily removed from the display by the consumer) that produces the moving image on the screen. Displays typically use a cathode ray tube, liquid crystal display, gas plasma, digital light processing, or other image projection technology.
§ 7203. RECOVERY, REUSE, AND RECYCLING; STATEWIDE
(a) The agency of natural resources shall adopt by rule a statewide management plan for covered electronic products in order to ensure that as of July 1, 2018 100 percent of covered electronic devices sold in Vermont in each calendar year is recovered, reused, or recycled. The agency shall update the statewide management plan annually to incorporate an annual goal for total recovery of covered electronic devices in pounds per capita and annual goals for reuse and recycling.
(b) Covered electronic devices collected through any program in Vermont, whether by manufacturers, retailers, for-profit or not‑for‑profit corporations, units of government, or solid waste management districts, must be reused or recycled in a manner that is in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances, and must not be exported for disposal in a manner that poses a significant risk to the public health or the environment.
§ 7204. SALE OF COVERED ELECTRONIC DEVICES
(a) Effective July 1, 2008, no new covered electronic device of a manufacturer’s brand shall be offered for sale in Vermont by the manufacturer or a retailer if the manufacturer fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter.
(b) A manufacturer that fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter shall notify, within 15 days of noncompliance, all retailers, wholesalers, and other sales distribution systems selling the manufacturer’s brands of the following:
(1) The manufacturer’s noncompliance; and
(2) The prohibition on offering the manufacturer’s brands for sale under subsection (a) of this section until the manufacturer comes into compliance with this chapter.
(c) The agency of natural resources shall maintain a list of all manufacturers in full compliance with the requirements of this chapter and shall post a list of all complying manufacturers on the agency’s internet website.
(d) A person selling covered electronic devices to a retailer or other person in Vermont shall consult with the list of complying manufacturers prior to sale. A person selling covered electronic devices shall be considered to have complied with the requirements of this subsection if on the date that the person ordered the covered electronic device from the manufacturer or its agent, the manufacturer was listed as in compliance on the agency of natural resources list required by subsection (c) of this section.
§ 7205. CONSUMER INFORMATION; LABELING OF COVERED
(a) No covered electronic device may be sold, offered for sale, or distributed after July 1, 2008 unless the device is labeled in accordance with this section. All labels required by this section must:
(1) Be affixed permanently to the device and its packaging;
(2) Be legible and readily visible;
(3) State the manufacturer’s brand;
(4) Clearly inform the consumer of the proper method of recycling or reusing the device, including a website address and toll‑free telephone number, in a manner that describes where and how to reuse and recycle the covered electronic device and opportunities and location for the collection or return of the device.
(b) A manufacturer of a covered electronic device sold in Vermont shall include the information required in subsection (a) of this section in the informational instructions or packaging of the covered electronic device or in additional material accompanying the sale of the device.
§ 7206. MANUFACTURER REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE
(a) Effective July 1, 2008, a manufacturer of a covered electronic device sold in Vermont shall submit at least annually to the agency of natural resources a report that includes the following information:
(1) An estimate of the number of covered electronic devices sold by the manufacturer in Vermont during the previous calendar year, calculated as its U.S. national market share in the previous calendar year for that unit multiplied by the percentage of the national population represented by the state in the most recent U.S. Decennial Census;
(2) A baseline or set of baselines that shows the total estimated amounts of mercury, cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated biphenyls used in the covered electronic devices manufactured by the manufacturer in that calendar year and the reduction, if any, in the use of those hazardous materials from the previous year;
(3) A baseline or set of baselines that shows the total estimated amount of recyclable materials contained in covered electronic devices sold by the manufacturer in that calendar year and the increase, if any, in the use of those recyclable materials from the previous calendar year; and
(4) A baseline or a set of baselines that describes any efforts to design a covered electronic device to improve the recycling potential of the device and goals and plans for further improving recycling potential.
(b) In lieu of the individual report required under subsection (a) of this section, a manufacturer may submit the information required by subsection (a) of this section in a collated report submitted by a trade association provided that the agency of natural resources reserves the right to require a manufacturer represented in a trade association to submit an individual report about the manufacturer’s covered electronic devices. The agency may require an individual manufacturer represented in a trade association report to provide an individual report under this subsection only for auditing purposes and not more than once in any five-year period.
(c) A report submitted to another state or to the federal government that contains the same information as required by subsection (a) of this section must be accepted by the agency of natural resources in lieu of a separate report to the agency.
(d) The agency shall not publicly disclose any business information claimed by the manufacturer as proprietary in a report submitted under this section, and any information claimed as proprietary shall remain confidential.
§ 7207. RETAILER NOTICE REQUIREMENTS
(a) A retailer of a covered electronic device in Vermont must post in a plainly visible place information that clearly describes the proper method of recycling or reusing any covered electronic device sold or offered for sale by the retailer, including opportunities and locations for the collection or return of the device. The information shall include a toll-free telephone number or website.
(b) A retailer shall ensure that the information required under subsection (a) of this section is included in the information instruction or packaging of the device or in additional material accompanying the sale of the device.
§ 7208. DISPOSAL BAN
Effective July 1, 2008, no person shall dispose of a covered electronic device or component or subassembly of a covered electronic device in a solid waste disposal facility in Vermont.
§ 7209. COVERED ELECTRONIC DEVICE DISPOSAL FEE
(a) Effective July 1, 2008, a manufacturer of a covered electronic device sold or offered for sale in Vermont shall pay an annual fee to the agency of natural resources for each unit of the manufacturer’s brands sold in the state. The fee shall be based on the national market share of the manufacturer in the previous calendar year for the unit multiplied by the percentage of the national population represented by the state in the most recent U.S. Decennial Census. The calculation of the fee shall exclude figures for sales involving business‑to‑business contracts that provide end-of-life take‑back programs for covered electronic devices.
(b) The agency of natural resources shall calculate the market share of manufacturers of covered electronic devices annually. The agency shall announce the preliminary calculation of each manufacturer’s market share for the next succeeding calendar year by July 1 of each year. A manufacturer may challenge the preliminary market share assigned to it by the agency by written petition to the agency. Such petitions must be received by the agency within 30 days of the date of publication of the preliminary market shares and must contain a detailed explanation of the grounds for the challenge, an alternative calculation of the market share, the basis for an alternative market share calculation, documentary evidence supporting the challenge, and complete contact information. Ninety days after the publication of the preliminary market share, the agency shall make a final decision on the market share, having fully taken into consideration any and all challenges to the preliminary market share calculations. The agency shall publish the final market shares by December 1 of each year. A written record of challenges received, a summary of the bases for such challenges, and the agency’s response shall be included in the publication of the final market shares.
(c)(1) In lieu of the fee set forth in subsection (a) of this section, a manufacturer that has implemented a take-back program for covered products shall be entitled to pay a lower administrative fee in the current calendar year upon a satisfactory demonstration to the agency that in the previous calendar year the manufacturer:
(A) Achieved the state total recovery goal and the annual reuse and recycling goals under section 7203 of this chapter for covered electronic devices, as multiplied by its agency-established market share for that calendar year.
(B) Fully funded the collection, reuse, and recycling of its covered electronic devices at no direct cost to the consumer or local or regional government, including for collection or transportation.
(C) Collected the claimed covered electronic devices from residents of Vermont after July 1, 2008.
(D) Collected, transported, reused, or recycled covered electronic devices in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws, including the requirements of this chapter and any rules issued thereunder.
(2) A manufacturer who demonstrates that it will satisfy the requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection in the first calendar year following July 1, 2008 shall, in lieu of the fee set forth in subsection (a) of this section, pay a lower administrative fee plus a one-time registration fee of $100.00.
(3) A manufacturer shall be required to demonstrate annually that it qualifies for the lower administrative fee. If a manufacturer fails to make a showing of qualification for the lower administrative fee, the manufacturer shall be required, within 90 days of such a final determination, to reimburse the agency for the difference in fees paid in the previous and current calendar years as well as a $100.00 penalty.
(d) The covered electronic device recycling fee shall be due and payable quarterly on or before the last day of the month following each calendar quarter. The secretary of natural resources shall prescribe by rule the form and content of payments. The secretary may require the payment of the fee and the filing of returns for other than quarterly periods.
(e) No fees may be charged to consumers for the collection, reuse, or recycling of covered electronic products by any person or entity participating in or being compensated by the statewide program operated and funded by the agency of natural resources or by a manufacturer for a recycling or take-back or any other program for the reuse or recycling of covered electronic devices.
(f) The unit fee paid to the agency of natural resources shall be stated on the sales receipt for the covered electronic device.
(g) Fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the covered electronic device recovery, reuse, and recycling fund and used according to its provisions.
§ 7210. REIMBURSEMENT FOR COLLECTION, TRANSPORTATION,
REUSE, AND RECYCLING
(a) For covered electronic devices collected for reuse or recycling on and after July 1, 2008, the agency shall make electronic device recovery, reuse, or recycling payments for the collection, transportation, reuse, and recycling of covered electronic devices to an authorized or approved person upon receipt of a completed and verified invoice submitted to the agency by the authorized person in the form and manner determined by the agency.
(b) In order to receive payment, proof will be required:
(1) That the covered electronic device was collected from an individual resident of the state after July 1, 2008;
(2) That the collection, transportation, and reuse or recycling of the device was conducted in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws; and
(3) That no fees or costs were charged to the consumer from which the covered electronic device was collected.
(c) The agency shall adopt by rule additional performance criteria for eligibility to receive funds from the agency under this section. At a minimum, such rules shall require demonstrated compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Guidance on Environmentally Sound Management of Electronic Devices.
(d) Manufacturers who pay the lower administrative fee under subsection 7208(d) of this title shall be ineligible for payments under this section. Manufacturers who pay the higher fee under subsection 7208(a) of this title shall be eligible for payments under this section if they are in compliance with all other requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted thereunder.
§ 7211. SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT COVERED
ELECTRONIC DEVICE RECOVERY PLANS
(a) By July 1, 2007, each solid waste management district in Vermont must develop and implement a covered electronic device recovery plan as part of its solid waste implementation plan.
(b) Solid waste management districts shall compensate persons for the collection, recycling, and reuse of covered electronic devices for the reasonable costs associated with these activities. A reimbursement schedule shall be annually established by the agency of natural resources for this purpose.
(c) Solid waste management districts shall receive annual payments from the covered electronic device disposal fee fund for the following activities necessary to the development and implementation of the covered electronic device recovery program required by this section:
(1) Administration of the covered electronic device recovery program;
(2) Public education and outreach;
(3) Collection and transportation of covered electronic devices; and
(4) Reuse and recycling of covered electronic devices.
(d) The agency shall adopt by rule criteria for the management of covered electronic devices by solid waste districts. At a minimum, such rules shall require compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidance on Environmentally Sound Management of Electronic Devices.
§ 7212. ENFORCEMENT
(a) The attorney general and the agency shall be authorized to initiate independent action to enforce any provision of this law, including failure by the manufacturer to remit the fee to the agency. Money awarded by the court shall be used to offset enforcement expenses. Money in excess of the enforcement expenses shall be deposited with the agency.
(b) An offense shall be considered the sale of a single item by any person not in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
§ 7213. REGULATORY AUTHORITY
The agency may adopt rules and regulations for the purpose of administering this chapter.
§ 7214. COVERED ELECTRONIC DEVICE RECOVERY, REUSE, AND
A fund to be known as the covered electronic device recovery, reuse, and recycling fund is created in the state treasury, to be expended by the secretary of natural resources in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund shall be retained in the fund. The fund shall consist of covered electronic device disposal fees assessed under the provisions of this chapter and any monies appropriated by the general assembly to or received by the secretary of natural resources from any other source, public or private for the implementation of this chapter.
§ 7215. DESIGN INCENTIVES
(a) The agency shall annually publish a report on the use of toxics in covered electronic devices that incorporates and analyzes information provided by manufacturers described in section 7206 of this chapter, provided that proprietary information submitted to the agency shall remain confidential.
(b) On April 1 of each year, and beginning two years after the date of enactment of this chapter, the agency shall publicly announce, through widespread press announcements and postings on its website, which manufacturer brands of covered electronic devices in the previous calendar year contained the least amounts of mercury, cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium and polybrominated biphenyls, which contained the highest recycled content, and which have demonstrated the greatest overall improvements in recycled content and decreased toxic content. Manufacturers’ products so recognized will have the right to use this status in advertising promotion and for any other lawful purpose.
(c) The agency shall recommend additional incentives for improved, less hazardous design to the general assembly by January 15, 2009.
§ 7216. PUBLIC OUTREACH AND EDUCATION
(a) The agency shall maintain a website of entities and organizations that have met the performance standards.
(b) The agency shall annually post the reports required in sections 7215 and 7218 of this chapter on its website.
(c) The agency shall maintain on its website complete and up‑to‑date listings of sites where consumers can bring covered electronics products for reuse and recycling under this chapter.
§ 7217. MULTISTATE IMPLEMENTATION
(a) The agency is authorized to participate in the establishment and implementation of a regional, multistate organization or compact to assist in carrying out the requirements of this chapter and to coordinate:
(1) collection, reuse, and recycling of covered electronic devices under section 7203 of this title;
(2) labeling of covered electronic devices under section 7205 of this title;
(3) manufacturer reporting under section 7206 of this title;
(4) retailer notice requirements under section 7207 of this title;
(5) calculation of market share and collection of the covered electronic disposal fee under section 7209 of this title; and
(6) public outreach and education under section 7216 of this title.
(b) Notwithstanding 1 V.S.A. § 317, the agency may provide the multistate organization or compact with product information submitted to the department under section 7207 of this title.
§ 7218. ANNUAL REPORT
Beginning January 15, 2009, the agency of natural resources shall report annually to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy regarding the implementation and success of statewide efforts during the preceding year to recover and reuse covered electronic devices. The report shall include:
(1) A list of all solid waste management districts that have successfully developed and implemented a covered electronic device recovery plan as part of their solid waste implementation plans;
(2) The amount of payments the agency has made to solid waste districts implementing covered electronic device recovery plans and the purpose of those payments;
(3) The total amount of covered electronic devices sold in Vermont the previous year;
(4) The total amount of covered electronic devices collected in Vermont the previous year;
(5) A summary of progress toward achieving the overall goal of 100 percent recovery, reuse, and recycling;
(6) The total decrease in toxic constituents used in covered electronic devices sold in Vermont;
(7) The total increase in recycled content used in covered electronic devices sold in Vermont;
(8) The total amount of covered electronic device fees collected the previous year;
(9) A summary of public education and outreach activities conducted by the agency of natural resources regarding the need to recover, reuse, and recycle covered electronic devices and the opportunities for such recovery, reuse, and recycling; and
(10) A summary of covered electronic device collection, transportation, recycling, reuse, and disposal activities in Vermont, including a complete listing of all sites collecting covered electronic devices in Vermont in the prior calendar year, the parties who operated them, and the amount of material collected at each site.
Sec. 2. APPROPRIATIONS
The sum of $200,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the agency of natural resources for deposit in the covered electronic device recovery, reuse, and recycling fund for use in accordance with the purposes of the fund.
Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE
Unless otherwise specified, this act shall take effect 90 days after the date of enactment.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street