Maine’s Electronic Waste law establishes a “shared responsibility” for the recycling of computer monitors, laptops, tablets, e-readers, digital picture frames, desktop printers, televisions, portable DVD players, security monitors, and game consoles (“covered electronic devices”) from households, small businesses, and K-12 schools.  In Maine’s program, municipalities provide convenient collection sites for consumers; department-approved consolidation companies pick up the devices, sort them, send them to be recycled, and invoice manufacturers (the brand owner, or first importer if the brand owner does not have a presence in the U.S.)  for the cost of consolidating, processing, and recycling covered electronic devices; manufacturers must complete annual registrations and pay assigned recycling costs.

Recycling costs are assigned differently depending on product type. The costs of consolidation, processing, and recycling televisions, security monitors, portable DVD players and game consoles are assigned based on total U.S. market share by weight.  Computer monitors, laptops tablets, digital picture frames, e-readers, and desktop printers are individually counted and weighed so that manufacturers pay for the recycling of their own products as these products show up in the waste stream.  Rather than having the consolidators recycle their products, manufacturers of these types of covered devices can opt to pick up from consolidators and recycle their products on their own (Option 1).  The cost of recycling “orphan” products, for which the state can assign no responsible party or successor in interest, is divided among registered manufacturers according to their proportion of the total weight of products recycled in a given year.  

Useful Links:   DEP E-Waste Recycling Website

Key Dates:  Annual manufacturer registrations and the registration fee are due July 1st each year. All current and former manufacturers of computer monitors, laptops, tablets, e-readers, digital picture frames, and desktop printers must register, as do all television, security monitor, game console, and portable DVD player manufacturers who sold products during the previous or current calendar years.  Registration fees are either $3000 or $750 depending on a manufacturer’s market share. The registration fee is waived for historic manufacturers of computer monitors, laptops, tablets, e-readers, digital picture frames and desktop printers who have had less than 50 products show up in the Maine waste stream during the previous three years.

Last Updated 12/22/17