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Guidance for the Texas Recycles Computers Program

Compliance assistance and other information for manufacturers, consumers, retailers, and recyclers.

Used computer equipment is a rapidly growing source of waste in Texas and across the country. While these computers contain valuable resources that can be reused or recycled, historically, rates for reusing and recycling used computer equipment have remained low.

To encourage an increased recycling rate, House Bill 2714 (80th Texas Legislature, 2007), Exit the TCEQ created the Texas Computer Equipment Recycling Program. Under this program, all parties involved have responsibilities. Learn more about how this program affects you.

If you have questions about the program, send an e-mail to recycle@tceq.texas.gov or call 512-239-3143.

Manufacturer Information

There are several requirements manufacturers must follow, which are listed in 30 TAC 328.137. Exit the TCEQ These requirements include developing a recycling program, submitting a notification and recovery plan, and submitting an annual report.

Recycling Program Requirements

State law requires manufacturers that sell new computer equipment in or into Texas to offer consumers a free and convenient recycling program and be on the TCEQ's list of computer-equipment manufacturers. If you are not on the list, neither you nor any retailer is authorized to sell your new computer equipment in or into Texas to any customer until you are placed on the list. To get on the list, you must submit a compliant notification and recovery plan (.DOC).

Each manufacturer must submit a notification and recovery plan that is verifiably from the manufacturer. If the TCEQ finds that the notification and recovery plan submitted does not comply with the law, the TCEQ will make a reasonable effort to assist you in correcting and re-submitting the necessary information.

Please send your notification and recovery plan to this address:

Section Manager

Municipal Solid Waste Permits, MC-124
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087

Manufacturers can be fined up to $25,000 for each violation of this law.

Please note that being on the TCEQ's manufacturers list does not mean the TCEQ has determined that your program is compliant with the law, only that the notification and recovery plan you submitted complies with what the law requires. The TCEQ may conduct audits and inspections to ensure the program you offer complies with the law. Reasons the TCEQ may find that your program may not comply with the law, could include any of the following issues (this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Failing to offer the required details on your program at the Web site provided in your recovery plan,
  • Not accepting eligible computer equipment for collection and/or recycling,
  • Charging customers a separate fee at the time of collection and/or recycling (even if they are reimbursed later),
  • Offering a collection program that is inconvenient to consumers,
  • Contracting with recyclers that do not abide by the Sound Environmental Management requirementsExit the TCEQ of the law.

For assistance in ensuring that your program complies with the law, please contact the Small Business and Environmental Assistance Division at 512-239-3143.

Annual Reporting

Texas law requires computer manufacturers to submit an annual report to the TCEQ by January 31 of each year regarding the weight of computer equipment collected, recycled, and reused. Please complete the manufacturers' annual computer recycling report and submit by January 31 of each year.

The 2013 Annual Report form (Word) (PDF), for reporting computer equipment collected in calendar year 2013, is now available.

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Consumer Information

The law requires manufacturers offering to sell new computer equipment in or into Texas to provide a program for collecting and recycling of consumers' used computer equipment.

Since September 1, 2008, manufacturers have had to provide a program in order to be able to sell in or into Texas. Each manufacturer is responsible only for its own brand(s) of computer equipment. The collection and recycling must be convenient and free at the time of recycling. The rules define computer equipment as:

  • a monitor,
  • a desktop computer or laptop, and
  • an accompanying keyboard and mouse made by the same manufacturer.

The manufacturers are required to offer collection and recycling only for computer equipment purchased primarily for personal or home-business use—regardless of when it was sold; that is, not just computer equipment purchased after Sept. 1, 2008.

By law, you will be responsible for any confidential information left on the computer equipment.

See the TCEQ's list of manufacturers that are participating in this program.

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Recycler Information

Since Sept. 1, 2008, electronics recyclers have been required to follow Sound Environmental Management (TAC 328.149) Exit the TCEQ for any computer equipment collected under this program.

Be aware that in addition to the Computer Equipment program requirements, electronics recyclers may be subject to other regulations.

Retailer Information

As of Sept. 1, 2008, the only new computer equipment (as listed in the Consumer section above) you are allowed to sell in or into Texas is computer equipment that:

  • was made by a manufacturer appearing on the TCEQ's list of manufacturers
    and
  • is clearly and permanently labeled with a brand owned by a manufacturer on this list.

Retailers can be fined up to $2,000 for each violation of this law. If you wish to sell computer equipment manufactured by a company that is not on this list, you should contact the manufacturer and ask them to get on the list.

 

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