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STATE HARMONIZATION. Can the Patchwork of State Programs Work Together?. Jason Linnell NCER. E-SCRAP 2008 – Tuesday, September 16. About Us. Non-profit 501c3 Located in Parkersburg, WV area ■ Federal, State, Association Projects

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Can the Patchwork

of State Programs Work Together?

Jason Linnell


E-SCRAP 2008 – Tuesday, September 16


About Us

  • Non-profit 501c3
  • Located in Parkersburg, WV area
  • ■ Federal, State, Association Projects
  • ■ National Electronics Recycling Infrastructure Clearinghouse
  • ■Research, Collection Programs
  • NCER’s Mission:
  • ■Dedicated to the development and enhancement of a national infrastructure for the recycling of used electronics in the U.S.

With the proliferation of varied state

and now local electronics recycling

legislated programs & no immediate

prospect of a national program, various

stakeholders are looking at ways the existing

programs can harmonize common elements.

Where can we work together to create efficiencies amongst states?

  • Look At The Current

“State” of States

  • Brief Review of Previous Findings
    • Manufacturer-brand connections
    • Return share and brand recording
  • Common elements of each program
    • Manufacturer registration
    • Market share data
    • Recycler registration
    • Recycler ESM requirements
    • Retailer requirements?
  • Examples of Collaboration

1:00 - 2:00 PM Overview Presentation

2:00 - 2:15 PM Discussion Questions from Group

2:15 – 2:30 PM Break

2:30 - 3:00 PM Panel of State Representatives

3:00 – 3:15 PM Manufacturer/Recycler Perspectives

3:15 - 4:00 PM Open Forum and


where do we stand

Current “State” of States

19 programs with mandatory financing


149 million US residents or 49.5% of US population

Disposal bans


Where Do We Stand?

Current “State” of States

Rhode Island


States With Producer Responsibility Laws

States With ARF (Consumer Fees) Laws

States With Landfill Disposal Fee

States With Disposal Ban/No E-Waste Law

current state of states
Current “State” of States

5 “Types” of State

E-cycling Systems:

  • Consumer Pays at POS - California model
  • Producer Pays Returns – Maine model
  • Producer Managed With Default - Pacific Northwest model
  • Producer Managed No Default or Convenience Goals –Minnesota model
  • Producer Program Required -Mid-Atlantic & “Red” States Model
current state of states1
Current “State” of States

#1 Consumer Pays at POS California Model

Existing Laws:

■CA Only

Key Elements:

■ Consumer ARF

■ State administers fund, flat rate for collection/recycling

■ No collection/conveniece goals

■ State authorizes collectors/recyclers

2 producer pays returns maine and variations
#2 Producer Pays Returns Maine and Variations

Current “State” of States

Existing Laws:

■Maine, Connecticut, and (Rhode Island)

Key Elements

■ Recyclers count/weigh brands, send bill to manufacturers w/approved rates

■ No collection/convenience goals

■ Collection costs at local govt


Current “State” of States

#3 Managed With DefaultPacific Northwest Model

Existing Laws:

■Washington, Oregon, New Jersey

Key Elements

■ Manufacturers use default plan or set up independent program (with restrictions)

■ Defined convenience goals (number of locations, etc). Some with collection goals

■ Return share and market share data needed


Current “State” of States

#4 Producer Managed No

Default or Convenience Goals

Existing Laws:

■Minnesota, Illinois, New York City, (Hawaii)

Key Elements:

■ Manufacturers responsible for defined amount, except HI

■ Some with unspecified “convenient” goals (NYC)

■ Return share IT/market share TV split


Current “State” of States

Producer Program Required Mid-Atlantic & “Red” States Model

Existing Laws:


Key Elements:

■Covered manufactures need to register and describe program

■No collection, convenience goals; no market/return share data

■In some states, registration fee required if no program

■Some limited to IT products

product scope by state
Product Scope By State



Laptops (over 4 inch),

TVs (over 4 inch), Monitors (over 4 inch)


TVs (over 9 inch), Monitors (over 9 inch)



TVs (over 4 inch), Monitors (over 4 inch)

TVs with exclusions (over 4 inch),

Monitors (over 4 inch), Laptops (over 4 inch)

TVs (over 4 inch), Monitors (over 4 inch), Laptops (over 4 inch)

Desktops, laptops, computer monitors, printers, and TVs

Desktops, laptops, computer monitors, printers, keyboards, mice, digital music players, and TVs

Desktops, laptops, computer monitors

over 9 inch and TVs over 9 inch




*Product scope for MD and MN includes products triggering a manufacturer obligation to participate in the program.

Desktops, monitors, laptops

TVs, Desktops, monitors, laptops, keyboard, mice, and other peripheral equipment (excluding printers)

adding covered entities our patchwork quilt
Adding Covered EntitiesOur Patchwork Quilt






-Small Businesses


-Any Entity w/

Fewer Than

7 Devices


-Small Governments

-Small Businesses

-School Districts


Consumers Only (Who Use Computer

Equipment for Home or Home Business Use)

Any Entity


& Schools

Households Only

requirements by state at a glance

Current “State” of States

Requirements By State At A Glance

Registration Fee Plan Required Annual Reporting






requirements by state at a glance1

Current “State” of States

Registration Fee Plan Required Annual Reporting





Requirements By State At A Glance

Current “State” of States

Requirements By State At A Glance

Registration Fee Plan Required Annual Reporting






current state of states2
Current “State” of States

Requirements By State At A Glance

Registration Fee Plan Required Annual Reporting





how are they faring

Current “State” of States


1.79 lbs/capita in 2005, 65 million lbs

3.5 lbs/capita in 2006, 128 million lbs

5.1 lbs/capita in 2007, 185 million lbs


3.1 lbs/capita in 2006, 3.85 million lbs

3.51 lbs/capita in 2007, 4.63 million lbs

Minnesota:6.5 lbs/capita from Jul 07 – Jun 08


1.2 lbs/capita in 2006, 6.2 million lbs[not program stats]

1.5 lbs/capita in 2007, 8.7 million lbs[not program stats]

How Are They Faring?
what can we do
What Can We Do?

Assumptions for Workshop

  • Can’t change the laws/regs
  • Work on common elements that provide efficiencies, reduce duplication
  • Not create unfair advantages for one group over another

Then, look at common elements

  • Where are they identical?
  • Where can differences be accommodated?
  • What projects look most promising?
common program elements
Common Program Elements

Some common elements

of each state program

  • Return Share Data
  • Manufacturer registration
  • Market share data
  • Recycler registration
  • Recycler ESM requirements
  • Retailer requirements
brand data management system
Brand Data Management System

What is it?

The Brand Data Management System is

an online data sharing project of brand

return shares and state-mandated program data.

  • Currently houses 1,487 brands across various product categories (monitors, TVs, desktops, laptops, P-DVD)
  • Approx. 30 of these brands have a return share of 1% or more by total weight across product categories
  • Shows brands and their common misspellings
  • Shows brand quantities returned by unit/weight across

6 regional studies (FL, MN, IL, WV, WA, New England)

  • Go to:
return share data
Return Share Data
  • Requirement: Division of costs for manufacturers by % of their brands in the waste stream
  • Once program up and running, data can come from sampling or full counts
    • For first program years, laws specify “best available data”
  • Limited number of studies of brand counts
  • NCER compiled existing studies, added data from WV program and created new online, public database
    • As part of NERIC project

BDMS Reports

  • BDMS has several reporting options:
    • Compare brand “return share” across all studies by product type (i.e., monitors) OR across all product types
    • Determine an average “return share” for each brand across all studies and product types
    • Determine each brand’s “registration” or “claim” status in each state program using return share for billing purposes
    • Determine manufacturer “return share” by combining claimed/registered brands


This report shows that RCA has a total return share of 6.62%


data sharing
Data Sharing
  • NCER provided custom report
  • For OR and WA, soon for RI
  • Limited to studies with 4 major product categories
    • Maine data most comprehensive/recent, but excluded due to desktop exclusion
  • Imperfect, but “best available”
    • Some regional companies from pilot studies penalized
  • Example of “easy” harmonization
    • Clearinghouse of national data
manufacturer registration
Manufacturer Registration

Who is the manufacturer under manufacturer responsibility?

  • Is it the company who designs the covered product? 
  • Is it the company who assembles the product under contract from the designer?  
  • Or is it the company who owns the rights to the brand that is placed on the product?

Two steps:

  • Define who you are looking for
  • Find ways to identify those manufacturers

All PR states require “manufacturer” registration with their brands

  • Some regional companies, but mostly multi-national companies
defining the manufacturer
Defining the Manufacturer

The terms “producer” and “manufacturer” have been used interchangeably in virtually all non-legal contexts, but….

State legislators have used the term “manufacturer” almost exclusively

The term “manufacturer” traditionally connotes physical activity but has become more removed from the physical formation process

“2a: the process of making wares by hand or by machinery especially when carried on systematically with division of labor…”

“3: the act or process of producing something”

Source: “manufacture.” Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary. 2007. http://mw1.merriam- (10/11/2007)

how is a manufacturer defined in each state differently
How Is A Manufacturer Defined In Each State? Differently!

The Manufacturer/Brand Connection

  • Some states allow non-brand owners to claim responsibility for brands (ie. ME & MN)
  • Some states require the “brand owner” to be responsible for that brand (ie. WA & MD)
  • Some states allow only the brand owner or licensee to be the “manufacturer” (ie. OR)
  • Some states cover historic producers, even if no longer in that product market (ie. ME & WA)
Owner of the rights to the

main brand on the front of a

product is the only entity that can be the “manufacturer”. Need to find the “main” brand on the front of a covered product in a return share system. In a market share system, look for the main brand under which a covered product is marketed.

Brand Owner Only Approach


Single entity for each brand is responsible

For return share, brand ownership records should more available than manufacturing history

Over time costs could be included in licensing agreements

Easy to explain – whoever currently owns rights is responsible


Owner of brand rights may control design, manufacture, distrib.

Does that undercut PR design feedback incentive?

Cases where 1 company manufacturers several licensed brands (e.g., Hello Kitty, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.) but brands are held by multiple companies

A company that wants to take on the responsibility and costs for a brand (e.g., a producer that licenses a brand) is denied

Brand label on front only is the identifying marker, and if missing in return share system, product is an orphan.

Gray area when multiple brands on a product are owned by different entities (IBM ThinkPad)

Brand Owner Only Approach

ME, MN, and OR

Brand owner is default, but a brand licensee (or other entity) can register or claim a brand and its associated recycling responsibility.

Brand on the front is usually the brand for which the “manufacturer” is responsible, but back label information can also be used to supplement or can be used in place of if front label is missing.

In a market share system, look for the main brand under which a covered product is marketed.

“Claiming Manufacturer”



Allows any company willing to take on responsibility for recycling responsibility to do so; licensee could be closest to design of the product

If no company claims a brand, brand owner still responsible, unless brand is deemed an orphan.


Administrative complexity: allows multiple entities to claim a single brand

Orphan determination can be particularly tricky when one historic producer among several goes out of business

“Claiming Manufacturer”


Most state laws allow importer to register/claim a brand if the “manufacturer” (brand owner or otherwise) has no presence in the US.

Historic “manufacturers” of product no longer sold can also be a manufacturer in return share systems (JC Penney, Sears, etc)

Potential hybrid approach: presume the brand owner is responsible, but allow a single company other than the brand owner assume responsibility for covered products carrying that brand.

Other Approaches?

same brand different manufacturer
Same Brand, Different “Manufacturer!”

The Manufacturer/Brand Connection

  • Barbie Brand TVs
    • Registered by Mattel, Inc. in WA and Emerson Radio Consumer Products in ME, MN, MD and OR
  • Runco
    • Registered by Planar Systems, Inc. in ME, MN and OR and by Runco International in WA
  • Xerox
    • Registered by Proview Technology Inc. in ME, MN and OR and by Xerox Corp. in WA
    • Challenge: Recycling responsibility sometimes on brand “licensees” sometimes “licensors”
getting to manufacturer
Getting to Manufacturer


Brand marking is primary means of assigning financial responsibility for recycling costs

Completely new use of brand information

States are doing it differently

What is the impact?

what is a brand
What is a “Brand?”

It is “a name, sign or symbol used to identify items or services of the seller”

Why look at “brand” for producer responsibility?

Most reliable visible evidence at end-of-life and when sold.

Most large producers use company name for brand

i.e. Dell-Dell, Sony-Sony

brand recording
Brand Recording

Brand recording is required in some states

In ME/CT/RI, all units are recorded and in WA/OR/NJ brands are recorded by random sample

High potential for errors with recording

NCER developed Best Mgmt Practices

Reduce errors, guide for brand recorders

Steps detailed for brand recorder

Distinguish product categories – gray area

Find true “brand” label, will differ by state

Identify common mis-identified markings

brand recording pitfalls
Brand Recording Pitfalls

“Creative”: drive, not brand

The BRAND (in WA) is “CCI”!

“Personal Computer”: not brand, but IBM trademark

This Brand is a Candidate for Misidentification!


Manufacturer here:


Sub-brand here:


Should be recorded as “Toshiba” NOT “Blackstripe”!

what is the brand for recycling purposes
What is THE “Brand?” for Recycling Purposes?

Same product may include multiple “brand” markings

Are true brands, but not correct brand for assignment of responsibility

Correct brands to record depends on program, purpose of brand recording

In ME, the correct brand is the one that is registered to a claiming “manufacturer” and may require recording of marking on both the front and/or back of unit

In WA, the brand on the front of the unit exclusively is used to determine the “true” brand for recycling responsibility purposes.

hurdles in determining brand ownership
Hurdles In Determining Brand Ownership

Brand name can differ from the

“producer” name

Retailers brand differently, i.e. Walmart - ilo, Best Buy – Insignia

Primary brands vs. secondary brands

Secondary Brand Examples: Presario (HP), Macintosh (Apple)

How to train brand recorders?


No central registry of licensees/licensors

Less common among IT companies

Creates complexity in determining who is ultimately responsible

other hurdles in determining brand manufacturer link
Other Hurdles In Determining Brand-Manufacturer Link

Not getting at physical manufacturer (e.g., contract manufacturing)

Licensing of legacy brands, i.e. Polaroid, Westinghouse

Also called “Back from the Dead” or “Zombie” brands

Brand equity helps make a product recognizable in a cluttered marketplace, even when not associated with that type of product


Gateway Monitor

Gateway Spotted Box Logo On Front, but word “Gateway” Is Missing

*Difficult to Identify Unless Familiar

With Branding!


Gateway Monitor (Back)

Missing Back Panel – No Manufacturer Information For ID Purposes!

where is the common ground
Where is the common ground?
  • Manufacturer registration
    • All states except CA require some form of registration
    • Brands tied to manufacturers (albeit different basis)
    • Informal contact info sharing/updates currently happening
  • Possible joint project for one-stop manufacturer and brand registration
    • Benefits: eliminates duplicate entries, conflicting info across states, reduce non-compliance in certain states
    • Challenges: accounting for varying definitions, finding sustainable home, manufacturer/state acceptance
market share data
Market Share Data
  • Needed for recycling financing basis:
    • MN – all VDDs
    • NYC – all covered products
    • CT, IL, RI, OR, NC – TVs
    • (WMMFA) – 50% of costs for all manufacturers
  • Needed for registration fees:
    • WA, OR – all covered products
  • Needed for orphan costs:
    • CT
market share data1
Market Share Data
  • Potential Collaboration:
    • Develop single source of national market share for all covered products using combination of research reports
  • Benefits:
    • All states using same or similar data
    • No need for states (and manufacturer reg fees) paying multiple times for same data sets
  • Challenges
    • Data protection!
    • Market research business model don’t mesh, some refuse to work for this type of project
recycler registration
Recycler Registration
  • Potential Collaboration
    • Single registration for recyclers rather than duplicate across states
  • Benefits:
    • Reduces confusion about which recyclers are qualified
  • Challenges:
    • Still many local/regional recyclers may not need national registration
    • State permitting laws vary
recycler esm requirements
Recycler ESM Requirements
  • Potential Collaboration: Recycler ESM requirements
    • Currently multiple sets of similar BMPs/EMPs
  • Probably already covered with R2 discussions
retailer requirements
Retailer Requirements
  • Potential Collaboration:
    • Retailer requirements: some provisions require education info from retailers to consumers on recycling options. Adopt single set of messages and national reference point
  • Benefits:
    • National retail chains have one source of info to distribute for compliance
  • Challenges:
    • Outreach and retailer involvement
    • Some states without laws, and few recycling options
other examples
Other Examples?

Where Else Can States

Cross Harmonize? Some ideas…

  • Manufacturer Reports?
  • RoHS compliance reporting/verification
  • EPEAT requirements
  • Sampling Brands (get more representative national data)
  • Definition of “convenience”
thank you
Thank You!

Jason Linnell, NCER

Phone: (304) 699-1008

Visit us on the web: