Product stewardship in Minnesota

In Minnesota, product stewardship initiatives are keeping millions of pounds of recyclables out of the waste stream. Minnesota adopted the first product stewardship policy in the United States in 1999. The MPCA seeks to develop voluntary commitments with businesses, non-governmental organizations, retailers, and others to increase the collection and recycling of identified consumer products.

Electronics

The rapidly growing number of computers, televisions, tablets, and other electronic items being used and discarded means that a substantial quantity of hazardous and toxic materials are entering the waste stream. At the same time, electronic products contain valuable glass, metals, and plastics that can be used to make new products.

Minnesota banned the disposal of electronic products containing a cathode-ray tube (CRT) in mixed municipal solid waste in 2006. Manufacturers of video-display devices must annually register and pay a registration fee to the state, collect and recycle specific consumer electronic devices from Minnesota households, and file a report detailing the results of their collections and recycling for each program year.

Visit the Electronics collection and recycling pages to learn more.

Rechargeable batteries

Minnesota prohibits rechargeable batteries and products with nonremovable rechargeable batteries from being disposed of in regular trash bins. In order to sell rechargeable batteries in the state, the rechargeable battery industry had to implement a state-approved collection program. In addition, rechargeable batteries and rechargeable products that don't meet the collection requirements can't be sold in Minnesota. Manufacturers can meet the requirements for collection by becoming a licensee of Call2Recycle.

Compact fluorescent lights

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) contain mercury, which makes their safe disposal an important issue for both public health and the environment. Minnesota has banned all fluorescent lamps from trash; they must be recycled. The state also requires utilities with 200,000 or more customers to collect fluorescent bulbs for recycling. No manufacturers in the United States have implemented programs to collect and recycle CFLs.

Telephone directories

Telephone directories were banned from disposal in municipal solid waste in Minnesota in 1992. Publishers of telephone directories had to provide for collection and delivery of the directories to a recycler and inform recipients of the collection system.

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