Many county or city governments in Minnesota provide e-waste collection services for residents; in some areas, they are the sole providers of such services. One goal of the Minnesota Electronics Recycling Act is to shift responsibility for paying for e-waste collection away from local governments while increasing recycling opportunities for consumers.
Local governments with ongoing e-waste collection programs must register each year by July 15. "Ongoing collection" is considered collection of covered electronic devices (CEDs) in household hazardous waste, recycling, or other local government owned facilities, including through curbside and drop-off services. Register on the Electronics collectors page.
If a local government hosts a one or two-day event and contracts with a registered collector to service the event, they do not need to register as a collector. The local government also need not register if it receives unwanted CEDs at a disposal facility or through illegal dumping, but must deliver the items to a registered collector or recycler.
Setting up e-waste collection
If a local government determines that it's necessary to provide e-waste collection services, the MPCA has some recommendations.
Can you collaborate with other local governments? More pounds collected means more leverage with recyclers and manufacturers, and working together may reduce administrative costs. On the other hand, partnerships with private-sector collectors and recyclers may be superior to establishing a new publicly run program.
It is important to secure an agreement with a collector, recycler, or manufacturer with terms that are clear to both parties. The MPCA has developed guidance to help.
Collection and recycling services for CEDs must be provided by entities that are registered with MPCA.
Collectors that contract with recyclers for managing discarded consumer electronics should take an interest in how those devices are processed and handled. Performing due diligence helps protect against both environmental harm and potential liability to collectors for mismanagement of collected devices. One tool is to use recyclers that have received a certification (such as eStewards or R2).