Local government

Presentation on contracting and BMPs

UPDATE: Due to the high interest in participation through the computer, this meeting will now be offered through WebEx vs. a Webcast, but it will still be recorded for future viewing and you can show up in person at the MPCA (map and directions).

Topic: Collecting Covered Electronic Devices- Glen Meyer
Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Time: 10:00 am, Central Daylight Time
Meeting Number: 597 997 883
Meeting Password: devices


Local government

Although there is no requirement for county or city governments to provide collection services for waste electronics, many offer service to residents. In some areas around the state, local government may be the sole provider of such services. One of the goals of the Minnesota law is shifting the responsibility of paying for collection services away from local governments while increasing opportunities for consumers to recycle their unwanted electronics.


County and city governments play prominent roles in the collection of household electronics in Minnesota. During the last program year, more than 40% of the total collected weight of covered electronic devices was collected through local government sources.

In the current program year, there are more than 260 registered collection sites offering regular drop-off services; local governments operate 30% of these sites.

Many local governments also provide collection services through special events.

Alternatives to local collection programs

Local units of government that are looking into collection of household CED should consider their options.

Identify existing collection options that may provide sufficient opportunities for residents

  • Existing service: Are there collection sites in your area? Refer to the a lists of registered collectors and recyclers already in your county and surrounding counties.
  • Manufacturer recycling options exist for many brands of consumer electronics. Most target the consumer/household. Many are free, though some charge a fee for shipping and/or recycling service.

Starting a public collection program

If a local government determines that it's necessary to take a more proactive role in providing collection service, MPCA makes these recommendations.


Can you collaborate with other local governments for a greater amount of pounds to leverage with recyclers and manufacturers? Working together may also reduce administrative costs.

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. For example, is whether a revenue-sharing arrangement feasible that factors in the sales of commodity materials (copper, precious metals, etc.).

Several counties have issued requests for proposals to evaluate competitive bids from recyclers. 

Collection and recycling services for "covered electronic devices" must be provided by entities that are registered with MPCA. Administrative contacts for collectors, recyclers and manufacturers are available.

Environmentally sound management

Given the environmental concerns associated with management of used electronics and public awareness of export of products overseas, the MPCA suggests that local units of government that engage in collection activity ensure that the recyclers are operating in accordance with best management practices. One tool is to use recyclers that have received a certification (such as eStewards or R2).


If a local government starts a collection program, it may require registering with the MPCA. Under the Minnesota Electronics Recycling Act, a collector is "a public or private entity that receives covered electronic devices from households and arranges for the delivery of the devices to a recycler."

  • Ongoing collection activities. If a local government sponsors, hosts or provides other collection opportunities on an ongoing basis, that local government shall register. This applies to CEDs that are collected in household hazardous waste, recycling or other local government owned facilities. Ongoing is defined as regular collection opportunities that may be curbside or drop-off and occur daily, weekly or monthly.
  • Event collections. 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. However, the local government or collector is encouraged to notify the MPCA so that we are aware of the event and can make the information available to residents.
  • Other scenarios: Incidental collection. If a local government receives CEDs at a disposal facility or from pickup of illegal dumping, they do not need to register as a collector but do need to ensure that items are taken to a registered collector who will report them and ensure they get recycled.