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Guidance for the Texas Recycles Computers Program

Information and compliance assistance for computer equipment manufacturers, consumers, retailers and recyclers.

Used computer equipment is a rapidly growing source of waste across the country. Computers contain valuable parts that we can recycle, and heavy metals that we should try to keep out of landfills. Despite this, Texas has historically had low computer recycling rates. 

To encourage more recycling, House Bill 2714 (80th Texas Legislature, 2007) Exit the TCEQ created the Texas Recycles Computers Program.

Learn how this program affects you.

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

Manufacturer Information

State law (30 TAC 328.137Exit the TCEQ  requires that manufacturers offering to sell new computer equipment in or into Texas must do ALL of the following:

Texas Recycles Computers Program
Pollution Prevention and Education, MC-108
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087

Once the TCEQ determines that your plan is compliant, your name will be placed on the TCEQ's list of computer equipment manufacturers. Your name must be on this list before anyone can sell your new computer equipment in or into Texas. 

  • Submit a manufacturers' annual computer recycling report to the TCEQ by January 31 of each year. For this report, you must track the weight of computer equipment collected, recycled, and reused. The 2014 Annual Report form (Word) (PDF) for reporting computer equipment collected in calendar year 2014 is now available.

If the TCEQ finds that your notification and recovery plan does not comply with the law, they will make a reasonable effort to assist you in correcting and resubmitting the necessary information.

Please note that being on the TCEQ's manufacturers list does not mean that your program is compliant with the law, only that your notification and recovery plan complies with the law.

The TCEQ may conduct audits and inspections of your program. The TCEQ may find your program does not comply with the law due to any of the following issues (this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Failing to offer the required details on your program at the website 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.

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

For assistance in ensuring that your program complies with the law, please contact the Pollution Prevention and Education Section at 512-239-3143, or e-mail recycle@tceq.texas.gov.

Consumer Information

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

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.

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

Electronics recyclers are 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

The only new computer equipment you may sell in or into Texas is:

  • Equipment 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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