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Many components of electronics are considered hazardous, including computer monitors and television screens. Electronics contain several heavy metals such as hexavalent chromium, mercury, and lead. Although the regulations for computers from a household versus a business differ, the goal of IDEM is to keep computers and other electronics out of landfills through reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling. If you have questions about electronic recycling regulations, please contact our confidential assistance program at (800) 988-7901 or (317) 232-8172.
Private companies interested in tax break information should refer to WasteWise: Electronics Reuse and Recycling (U.S. EPA) [PDF].
Beginning January 1, 2011, Indiana households, public schools, and small businesses will no longer be able to mix unwanted computer monitors, computers, televisions, printers, computer peripherals (such as keyboards and mice), DVD players, video cassette recorders or fax machines with municipal waste that is intended for disposal at a landfill or intended for disposal by burning or incineration. This disposal prohibition can be found in Indiana Code 13-20.5.
To find your location e-waste collection program, contact your local SWMD or find a local collection program [PDF] in your county that is participating in the new E-Waste Program.
Businesses and other organizations are not regulated under most federal and state requirements if the facility generates less than 220 lb. total of hazardous waste, including computers and electronics, per month. This is equivalent to about 7 or 8 computers. (These wastes must still go to a facility authorized to receive solid waste.) There are environmentally preferable options available including donating and recycling electronics. You can also contact your local SWMD to see what other local options are available.
Wastes from facilities that generate more than 220 lb. of hazardous waste per month are regulated under federal law when disposed. E-waste often meets the definition of hazardous waste, due to lead and other hazardous materials they contain.
Indiana’s e-waste regulations [PDF] (329 IAC 16) exclude e-waste from regulation as solid and hazardous wastes if they are sent for reuse or recycling instead of disposal. E-waste generators must abide by the management standards in the regulations under the generator exclusion found in 329 IAC 16-3-1(7). If these management standards are followed, e-waste is not considered a hazardous waste and need not be managed as such.
Cathode ray tubes (CRT), which are found in computers and television screens, sent for disposal from Small or Large Quantity Generators must be manifested as "hazardous waste" and sent to a permitted hazardous waste landfill. Other e-wastes such as CPUs, keyboards, and mice sent for disposal must undergo a waste determination and be managed accordingly as solid or hazardous waste.
Facilities that store and / or process e-waste (including dismantling and recycling operations) may be subject to Indiana’s Electronics Waste Management rules, 329 IAC 16. The rules require facilities to register with the State, adhere to certain management standards, and maintain financial assurance. For more information, visit the IDEM E-waste storage and Processing Facility Web page (part of the IDEM Permit Guide).
For assistance in understanding the regulations and determining if your facility needs to register, contact OPPTA at (800) 988-7901.