ASSEMBLY, No. 607

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

210th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2002 SESSION

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman MICHAEL J. ARNONE

District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)

Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Encourages the recycling and reuse of used computers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

 

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 2/5/2002)


An Act concerning the recycling and reuse of used computers, supplementing P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-1 et seq.), and amending P.L.1991, c.521.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. (New section) The Legislature finds and declares that the as computers have become more popular, many innovative programs have been developed throughout the nation to recover those being discarded; that the recycling of used computers represent one electronic by-product that may create new opportunities in the evolving re-manufacturing industry, in which private firms recapture household appliances and old electronic equipment; that during the course of the past ten years, personal computer sales have increased enormously, and surveys reveal that up to 25 percent of American households now own at least one personal computer; and that with the proliferation of personal computers and the continuously emerging computer technologies, computer recycling has evolved, and with it programs of reuse and recycling of such component parts as metal and plastic.

    The Legislature further finds and declares that approximately every year two computers will be discarded for every three manufactured in this county, thereby contributing approximately 200,000 tons of old electronic equipment to the nation's solid waste stream; that while many used computers may end up in the trash, others may be taken home by employees or donated to friends or schools; that there are several dozen computer recycling programs throughout the United States, with numerous others sprouting up to serve social service community organizations; and that keyboards, circuit boards, monitors and other computer components and accessories can become obsolete just with the advent of new processing chips.

    The Legislature further finds and declares that, to date, over 25 million personal computers had been discarded globally; that this number is expected to increase to 150 million by the end of the decade; that it has been estimated that between 50 and 70 million computers alone have been disposed of between 1992 and 1996; that at landfill disposal "tipping fees" of $50.00 per ton, the discarded computers would cost more than $100 million, not including the potential cleanup costs of any hazardous materials that the computers may leach into the environment; and that the disposal of used computers in an environmentally-sound manner as solid waste is costly.

    The Legislature further finds and declares that computers contain numerous heavy metals; that cathode ray tubes (CRTs), commonly known as "monitors," have high levels of lead in the glass, as well as mercury, cadmium, and phosphorous in the vacuum tubes; that CRTs are also found in television sets; that the CRT comprises about two-thirds of the weight of a typical computer workstation; that the lead in a monitor is about eight percent by weight, and the glass more than 18 pounds in a typical 17-inch monitor; and that both of these items may be recycled.

    The Legislature therefore determines that it is in the public interest to limit and eventually reduce the volume of used computer monitors entering New Jersey's solid waste stream; and that the State, through the Department of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the manufacturers, retailers and distributors of computers and other electronic equipment, should seek to develop an environmentally-sound strategy for the proper management, recycling and reuse of used computers.

 

    2. (New section) a. The department, pursuant to state and Federal law, and in consultation with manufacturers, retailers and distributors of computers and other electronic equipment, and environmental groups, and with the cooperation of the Department of Education, shall prepare educational materials relating to the reclamation, recycling or reuse of used computer monitors and used consumer electronics.

    b. The materials shall promote the values of recycling used computer monitors and other used consumer electronics, such as television sets and other cathode ray tubes mercury lamps; provide information on the environmentally-sound disposal of such items; and encourage the reuse of all cathode ray tubes found in consumer electronics.

 

    3. (New section) The Department of Education shall distribute the educational materials prepared by the department pursuant to section 4 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now before the Legislature as this bill) to each school district in the State. Local school boards are encouraged to integrate these educational materials into the curricula whenever possible, and to otherwise make them available to elementary and secondary school children for extracurricular activities and to their parents.

 

    4. (New section) a. The department, pursuant to state and Federal law, and in consultation with manufacturers, retailers and distributors of computers and other electronic equipment, and environmental groups, shall organize and coordinate a cooperative public-private demonstration project to evaluate the practicability and feasibility of requiring the statewide mandatory source separation and recycling of used computers monitors, used consumer electronic equipment or used television sets or other cathode ray tube-containing devices, found to be of particular concern to the department, as a means of encouraging the recycling rather than disposal of these items.

    b. The department shall investigate the availability of, and apply for, funds available from the federal government, or any private or public source, to finance the costs of the demonstration project.

    c. The department shall prepare and submit a report to the Governor, to the Legislature, and to the Chairmen of the Senate Environment Committee and the Assembly Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee or their successor committees no later than two years following the effective date of this act. The report shall describe the progress of the demonstration project and shall include recommendations for further administrative or legislative action.

 

    5. (New section) The commissioner shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations necessary to implement this act.

 

    6. Section 16 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.74) is amended to read as follows:

    16. Whenever a county prepares and adopts a district household hazardous waste management plan, the commissioner may require the plan to be adopted as an amendment to the district solid waste management plan required pursuant to the "Solid Waste Management Act," P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-1 et seq.)[, and]. Any district household hazardous waste management plan adopted by a county shall be subject to approval by the department.

    a. Each district household hazardous waste management plan, subject to approval by the department, shall identify the county strategy or strategies for the collection and disposal of household hazardous waste, which shall, at a minimum:

    (1) provide for the collection and disposal of used mercuric oxide batteries, nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries and sealed lead rechargeable batteries at least once every 90 days;

    (2) be consistent with the provisions of the district recycling plan required pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1987, c.102 (C.13:1E-99.13);

    (3) designate, if necessary, one or more collection sites within the county for household hazardous waste collection and disposal; and

    (4) include such other information as may be prescribed in rules or regulations of the department.

    b. A district household hazardous waste management plan, subject to approval by the department, may provide for the collection and disposal of any used dry cell batteries, cathode ray tubes from used computer monitors or television sets.

    c. Household hazardous waste shall be collected, stored and transported in accordance with all applicable standards for such wastes adopted as rules or regulations by the department pursuant to P.L.1970, c.39, or as prescribed under any other applicable federal or State law.

    d. The department may use a portion of the moneys available in the State Recycling Fund pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection b. of section 5 of P.L.1981, c.278 (C.13:1E-96) for the purposes of providing technical assistance and training to counties in proper used dry cell battery management.

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.16)

 

    7. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would encourage the recycling, reuse or proper disposal of used computers monitors and television sets.

     The bill provides that the Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with manufacturers, retailers and distributors of computers and other electronic equipment, and environmental groups, and with the cooperation of the Department of Education, would prepare educational materials relating to the reclamation, recycling or reuse of used computer monitors and used consumer electronics.

     The materials would promote the values of recycling used computer monitors and other used consumer electronics, such as television sets and other cathode ray tube mercury lamps; provide information on the environmentally-sound disposal of such items; and encourage the reuse of all cathode ray tubes found in consumer electronics.

     The bill requires the Department of Education to distribute the educational materials to each school district in the State. Local school boards are encouraged to integrate these educational materials into the curricula whenever possible, and to otherwise make them available to elementary and secondary school children for extracurricular activities and to their parents.

     The bill also requires the DEP, in consultation with manufacturers, retailers and distributors of computers and other electronic equipment, and environmental groups, to organize and coordinate a cooperative public-private demonstration project to evaluate the practicability and feasibility of requiring the statewide mandatory source separation and recycling of used computer monitors, used consumer electronic equipment or used television sets or other cathode ray tube-containing devices, found to be of particular concern to the DEP, as a means of encouraging the recycling rather than disposal of these items.

     The DEP must prepare and submit a report to the Governor, to the Legislature, and to the Chairmen of the Senate Environment and the Assembly Solid and Hazardous Waste Committees no later than two years following the bill's effective date. The report would describe the progress of the demonstration project and must include recommendations for further administrative or legislative action.