Wisconsin Requires Recycling of Electronics

January 13, 2010

Governor Doyle recently signed Wisconsin’s electronics recycling legislation into law. The Act, 2009 Wisconsin Act 50, is long and somewhat convoluted. A copy of the Act can be viewed at the following link: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2009/data/acts/09Act50.pdf. As is true of most new legislation, there are few resources telling us in plain language what the law requires.

Here is a brief overview of the new law. Beginning on September 1, 2010, consumers may no longer dispose of most electronic devices in the usual manner; e.g., by tossing them into a landfill. As the name of the law implies, the covered electronic devices must be recycled. The new law requires the manufacturers of the electronic devices to assume the financial responsibility for collecting and recycling the devices. In preparation for the upcoming September deadline, the state is requiring manufacturers of covered electronic devices sold to households or schools to abide by certain requirements. Among the requirements is that the manufacturers must register with the state by February 1, 2010 and pay a registration fee. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a web page dedicated to assisting with registration: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/wm/ewaste/registration.html

As of January 1, 2010, collectors and recyclers of the covered electronic devices are also required to register with the state. The registration forms for collectors and recyclers can also be located at the DNR website. Beginning on July 1, 2010, retailers of covered electronic devices sold to households or schools must provide purchasers of the electronic devices with information describing how the devices can be collected and recycled. The information may be provided via a toll-free number and/or via the retailer’s Web site.

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