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State Legislative Roundup

It may only be February, but New Mexico has already finished its 2018 legislative session.
All but Louisiana and North Carolina have already started the race to get through committee and chamber deadlines before their sessions end. ISRI is already tracking over 750 bills and regulations that could impact the recycling industry, and over 100 of these directly target electronics.

Why this matters:
Bills and regulations targeting electronics can directly change how your business operates. In worst-case scenarios, legislation could even make it impossible for recyclers to stay in business.

Extended Producer Responsibility
While Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) / product stewardship legislation remains a concern for the recycling industry, the issue has (so far) been surprisingly quiet in the states compared to past sessions, with only 14 electronics EPR bills being introduced or moved since the beginning of 2018. Of these, Washington HB 1824 is the closest to passing; it cleared the House in 2017 and received a hearing this week in the Senate. The bill includes a 3 year block for transporters, collectors, or processors who are determined to have willfully violated the program requirements, and requires manufacturers to report on their rates and volumes for each transporter and processor, including the methodology and rationale by which the volumes were allocated.

Despite the relative quiet to date, recyclers should be on guard for late introductions, particularly in North Carolina when its session begins in May. North Carolina legislators have repeatedly attempted to roll back the state's electronics recycling program during past sessions, and a renewed attempt in 2018 can be expected.

Right to Repair
In contrast, Right to Repair bills are active across the nation, with 33 total being tracked and 24 being introduced or receiving movement since the beginning of the year. However, so far none of these bills have made it past their chamber of origin, and several (including measures in Virginia and Hawaii) have been deferred following a committee hearing.

Some bills are gaining traction; WA HB 2279, targeting electronics, and Wyoming HB 91, targeting farm equipment, both made it through their committee hearings with recommendations for passage. ISRI's Right to Reuse Position supports such legislation that grants recyclers convenient and affordable access to the information and tools that are necessary for safe and responsible repair and the information to safely handle and reuse certain products.

New Resources for Recyclers
LegResources_250New Tracking Resources: We've made it easier than ever for members to keep up with the latest developments. ISRI's State Resources and Tracking page (member login required) has been revamped with live reports on each state profile page as well as reports for individual commodities and issues, such as electronics, extended producer responsibility, and Right to Repair. Each state profile page also has information and statutory links, including those states with electronics recycling programs.

ISRI Positions on Policy Issues:
We've also added summaries of ISRI's Positions impacting policy issues to the publicly-accessible ISRI State Policy page, making it easy to find and share the recycling industry's stance on issues such as right to reuse / repair when engaging with policymakers. ISRI's State Policy page also serves as a landing page for ISRI's other state advocacy and policy resources, such as the tracking pages, past policy highlights and testimony, and the metals theft law database.

Go Deeper:
If you have any questions or concerns about pending legislation or regulations or the existing electronics recycling requirements in your state, you can always access the tracking tools and information on the State Resources and Tracking pages or contact Danielle Waterfield.

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