Electronics Recycling: Businesses

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The South Carolina Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience Information Technology Equipment Collection and Recovery Act

  • Passed in 2010 that banned the disposal of specific electronics in solid waste landfills (Section 48-60-90); effective July 1, 2011. Given that, the legislation established requirements for landfill owners and operators in regards to keeping covered computer and television devices from being disposed of in the state's landfills.
  • Revised on March 4, 2014 to add more specific requirements and recovery obligations for computer monitor and television manufacturers.
  • These new requirements are in addition to existing prohibitions on disposal of electronics in Class 1 and Class 2 landfills in South Carolina.
  • Most of the legislation will sunset on December 31, 2021. The Section that prohibits electronics to be knowingly disposed of in a solid waste landfill will remain in place (Section 48-60-90). Stakeholders should prepare now for the affects of these changes. 

To read the full Act, select 'Electronics Legislation' under 'Downloads & Links'.

Electronics Management Options for Businesses

Businesses should not throw away computers and other electronic equipment and must follow all state and federal regulations regarding the proper management of unwanted electronics. Generally, businesses should:

  • donate the equipment to an organization for reuse (e.g., non-profits, schools, churches); or
  • recycle it.

Otherwise, businesses wanting to dispose of electronics must follow hazardous waste regulations unless they prove through Knowledge of Process (KOP) or testing that the electronic equipment is not hazardous. KOP means the business has data or other information from the manufacturer that the components will not be hazardous if properly disposed. Keep all records.

Recycling Electronics

If a business decides to recycle, there are a variety of companies that provide recycling of unwanted electronic equipment.

When selecting a recycling vendor, ask these questions:

  • How long has the vendor been in business? Can the vendor provide business references?
  • How is the material managed? How does the vendor handle the de-manufacturing and final disposal of all components and hazardous materials? Is any equipment exported? If so, where and what happens to the equipment?
  • Does the vendor verify data destruction?
  • Does the recycling vendor have certification such as R2, e-Stewards or other comparable industry or governmental standard?

Improperly managed electronics can be a business liability. If a business chooses a collector/recycler who improperly manages or disposes of electronics, the business (the generator of the waste) may be liable for cleanup. According to state and federal regulations, hazardous waste generators are responsible for final disposition of hazardous waste. Businesses should give as much thought to the selection of a collector/recycler of unwanted electronics as they would give to any other hazardous waste collector or recycler.

For information on applicable hazardous waste regulations, call DHEC's Division of Compliance and Enforcement at 803-898-0456 .

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