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SOLID AND HAZARDOUS WASTE
COMPUTER AND ELECTRONICS FACT SHEET

On June 17, 2002 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (the Department) adopted an amendment to the Universal Waste Rule (UWR) including consumer electronics as a universal waste. Consumer electronics are defined in the rule as: “any appliance used in the home or business that includes circuitry. Consumer electronics includes the components and sub-assemblies that collectively make up the electronic products and may, when individually broken down, include batteries, mercury switches, capacitors containing PCBs, cadmium plated parts and lead or cadmium containing plastics. Examples of consumer electronics include, but are not limited to, computers, printers, copiers, telefacsimiles, VCRs, stereos, televisions, and telecommunication devices.” The adopted amendments to the Universal Waste Rule were effective on December 17, 2002.

Under the UWR, a generator of consumer electronics is regulated as a small or large quantity handler. A small quantity handler of universal waste accumulates less than 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of universal waste at any given time. This includes all types of universal waste being generated at the site. A large quantity handler of universal waste accumulates greater than 5,000 kilograms of universal waste at any given time. The management requirements for small quantity handlers are found at N.J.A.C. 7:26A-7.4 and the management requirements for large quantity handlers are found at N.J.A.C. 7:26A-7.5. A generator of consumer electronics may send their electronics to another universal waste handler or to a demanufacturer.

Demanufacturers of consumer electronics are regulated in New Jersey as Class D recycling centers and are required to obtain a Class D Recycling Center Approval. Large quantity universal waste handlers may not demanufacture electronics. Small quantity universal waste handlers are allowed to demanufacture electronics without obtaining a Class D Recycling Center Approval however processing or treating the components, for example by crushing or shredding, is prohibited.

Companies that are strictly refurbishing electronics for resale or donation do not need an approval from the Department to operate. These facilities are only handling products that are still usable and are therefore not regulated by the Department. However, if the company will be storing any unusable electronics, they would be regulated as a universal waste handler.

Transporters of universal waste, including consumer electronics, are not required to obtain a New Jersey solid or hazardous waste transporter registration provided the wastes are being shipped to an approved recycling center or universal waste handler. If the universal waste is being shipped to a RCRA Treatment, Storage, or Disposal Facility (TSDF) for treatment or disposal instead of recycling, the transporter must be a registered New Jersey solid waste transporter or a registered New Jersey hazardous waste transporter. If the waste is being shipped to a TSDF for recycling, transporter registration is not required. The above requirements apply to both intra-state and interstate shipments.

Last Revised 06/15/04

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Copyright State of New Jersey, 1996-2002
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: March 10, 2006