2024 E-Waste Legislation Update

Pile of e-waste with text "2024 e-waste legislation update"

For business owners, 2024 brings fresh opportunities, room for growth, and the need for a proactive and convenient electronics recycling strategy. Every year, the computer equipment Americans discard contains $4 billion worth of lost gold, copper, and palladium. If your business fails to recycle electronics properly, you’re throwing money into a landfill.

Besides the financial benefits, implementing effective electronics recycling within your operation has significant environmental and compliance advantages. These advantages are pushing the global e-waste recycling industry to stratospheric heights. The electronics recycling industry will be worth an estimated $110 billion by 2030.

State and federal regulations are also changing to reflect the realities of e-waste.

Here’s what you need to know about business electronics recycling in 2024, including some of the legislative acts that occurred in 2023 that will shape the industry’s future.

Right to Repair Laws

The ‘Right to Repair’ movement has gained traction over the past several years, and this year, the momentum is increasing. Right-to-repair laws forbid manufacturers from erecting barriers that prevent access to information or parts necessary for repair. This gives you the freedom to fix your equipment yourself or go to a third-party servicer.

Massachusetts was the first to pass a right-to-repair law, with the state introducing a comprehensive automotive right-to-repair law in 2012. Since then, this initiative has spread to the consumer electronics sector, with several states enacting laws that allow consumers and third-parties to fix digital equipment.

The following states passed right-to-repair laws in 2023:

  • California: Their version of right-to-repair legislation applies to electronics and appliance manufacturers, requiring them to provide documentation and the parts needed for service for a minimum of seven years after the product’s manufacture.
  • Colorado: This right-to-repair law focuses on protecting farmers and wheelchair users. Farm equipment and power wheelchair manufacturers must now provide schematics, manuals, and tools for DIY fixes.
  • Minnesota: Their bill allows independent repair shops and individuals to repair electronics fairly.
  • New York: Introduced measures requiring access to parts and manuals from electronics manufacturers. New York’s law does not apply to vehicles, farm equipment, or home appliances.

The states with right to repair legislation in the process:

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

These states are waiting for legislation that could transform the right-to-repair landscape further. 

As a business owner, many of these state laws don’t concern you. However, these updates paint the picture of how proactive recycling and end-of-life management, especially in the electronics space, is becoming more of a conversation nationally. At ViaTeK, we’ve been ahead of this trend, helping business owners regain some of the value of their investment for outdated and inoperable electronics.

pile of discarded lithium ion batteries

Solar Panels and Lithium-Ion Batteries

In a related move, the EPA’s decision to categorize lithium-ion batteries as universal waste in 2023 has set a new precedent for the e-waste industry. It turns out lawmakers are not stopping there — the next big target is solar panel waste, which, given its ubiquity and long lifespan, represents a sizable portion of future electronic recycling concerns.

Solar Panel Legislation

Rhode Island introduced its solar panel waste regulations in 2023 by categorizing solar panels as a resource recovery necessity. The state mandates disposal through its facility and imposes a managed fee to handle these components.

Other states on the solar panel legislative radar:

  • Washington: The scheduled launch of the Photovoltaic Module Stewardship and Takeback Program in 2025 is another step toward managing solar waste effectively.
  • Illinois: Establishing a Renewable Energy Component Recycling Task Force signals the state’s interest in recycling and repurposing energy-generating devices, including solar panels.

Lithium-ion batteries are a concern in e-waste because of their hazardous potential and abundance. The EPA has laid the groundwork for more unified recycling by designating them as universal waste.

Conclusion

The e-waste industry and long-standing electronics recycling providers like ViaTeK Solutions recognize the need to manage the largest growing recycling sector. Companies can’t afford to ignore their e-waste obligations even if they want to. 

Right-to-repair laws, pending solar panel legislation, and the universal waste status of lithium-ion batteries demonstrate that the government is increasingly active in regulating e-waste at the residential level. It stands to reason that companies that adhere to useful recycling strategies will reap the benefits of cost savings but may also be setting themselves up for an easier transition if more federal legislation gets passed around corporate electronics recycling.

ViaTeK Solutions plays a crucial role in the IT asset disposition (ITAD) industry, adapting and innovating to meet the challenges of electronic recycling. By aligning our practices with green values and the latest regulations, we’ve become leaders in pursuing more responsible electronics recycling and IT asset disposal (ITAD).

Want to learn more or stay in touch? Follow us on LinkedIn.

More Posts

Subscribe

* indicates required

Subscribe to our Newsletter