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May 18, 2017
New Jersey updates its e-waste management law

At the annual meeting of the Association of New Jersey Recyclers, Scott Brubaker, deputy director of the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) discussed the recent changes made by the DEP to the state electronic waste (e-waste) recycling statute found at New Jersey Statutes Annotated (NJSA) C.13:1E-99.94 et seq. The statute has been revised to add desktop printers and desktop fax machines to the existing list of “covered electronic devices” (CEDs) (e.g., televisions and computers) that must be recycled by manufacturers in New Jersey. In addition, the definition of “consumer” has been expanded to include not only “persons” but also school districts and municipal and state government offices that purchase a CED in a retail sale transaction. This means that manufacturers’ recycling responsibilities now extend to these entities.

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Brubaker noted that the DEP is in the process of reviewing manufacturer’s plans for 2017 and has provided manufacturers with a target number of collection sites that they must operate in the state in order to meet the “sufficient and convenient collection opportunities” that must be made available to state residents to drop off their e-waste devices for recycling. These set targets address what the DEP deemed a gap in the system—not having enough collection sites and collection events throughout the state. The DEP says that there will now be well over 300 sites to collect e-waste as sponsored by the CED manufacturers.

While CED manufacturers must still report annually to the DEP, the Department has added the requirement that collection facilities and authorized recyclers report semiannually on the type and weight of CEDs collected or recycled.

The revised statute also gives the DEP new enforcement powers. The DEP has issued 30 to 40 formal notices of violation to manufacturers so far this year for failure to comply with various requirements. Civil penalties, formerly capped at $1,000 for each offense, have now been raised—for certain violations—to $25,000 per day, per violation.

Brubaker stated that the DEP plans to fully implement and enforce the amendments to the law and that the Department expects shortly to issue its implementation plan and timeline to all interested stakeholders.

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