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Information for electronics collectors

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Collectors of eligible electronic devices from Wisconsin households and schools may choose to participate in E-Cycle Wisconsin and follow its requirements, including working with a registered recycler. This makes the electronics they collect eligible to be part of a manufacturer-funded recycling program.

    Upcoming program year transition

    The next E-Cycle Wisconsin program year will run from July 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2023. Beginning in 2024, program years will follow the calendar year. The next reporting deadline is Aug. 1, 2022, for registered collectors.

    Who should register

    Collectors participating in E-Cycle Wisconsin receive eligible electronics from households or K-12 schools and deliver, or arrange for the delivery of, these items to a registered E-Cycle Wisconsin recycler. There are no restrictions on who can be a collector. Collectors may include local governments, nonprofits, businesses, schools and others.

    Collectors not participating in E-Cycle Wisconsin are not subject to its requirements and do not have to register with the DNR.

    Under E-Cycle Wisconsin, a collector is not involved in the disassembly or processing of electronics. A person/entity involved in disassembly or processing may register as a recycler.

    Requirements and Best Management Practices

    Requirements for registered collectors

    Collectors participating in E-Cycle Wisconsin must do all of the following.

    • Register annually with the DNR.
    • Provide a list of permanent drop-off sites, one-day collection events or other locations where you collect electronics under E-Cycle Wisconsin, including dates of operation, street addresses and phone numbers the public can call for more information.
    • Report the weights of eligible electronics collected annually and sent to a registered recycler under E-Cycle Wisconsin, including the name of the recycler, and whether the electronics were from an urban or rural county.
    • Certify that you have all governmental licenses or other approvals required to operate as a collector and will comply with the E-Cycle Wisconsin requirements.
    • Certify that you comply with all applicable state and federal health, environmental, safety and financial responsibility requirements.
    • May not use prison labor to collect electronics under E-Cycle Wisconsin.
    • Keep detailed records (see below).

    The annual collector registration and report form is due Aug. 1. Collectors will receive an email from the DNR in late June or early July with reporting instructions. See the Registration and reporting tab for more information.

    If a collector needs to make changes to its registration during the program year (e.g., add or remove collection sites or events), contact DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin staff.

    Note that recyclable materials sent to landfills for disposal or for use as alternate daily cover are not eligible for manufacturer credit under E-Cycle Wisconsin. In particular, glass from cathode ray tubes sent to landfills is not eligible.

    See links under the Resources tab to learn more about meeting these requirements.

    Any operations to collect and recycle devices (e.g., electronics from businesses or non-eligible recyclables) not covered by E-Cycle Wisconsin must be kept separate and cannot be counted toward manufacturer recycling obligations.

    Recordkeeping requirements: sources and weights of electronics

    A collector must maintain records of the sources of eligible electronics collected, including the collection site addresses and dates of operation, and a description of procedures or other information to show that materials counted toward a manufacturer's recycling obligation came only from Wisconsin households and covered schools. The collector must also maintain records showing the registered recyclers that received the eligible electronics.

    If a collector receives eligible electronics from households and covered schools in both urban and rural counties, it should keep separate track of the weights of eligible electronics collected in each as manufacturers receive extra credit for eligible electronics collected from rural households and schools.

    Your recycler(s) should supply you with records of the weight of eligible electronics you send to them. However, it's essential that you keep records of when loads were picked up/delivered and the approximate size of the loads (e.g., three Gaylord boxes, a full semi-truck, a half-full roll-off) to verify the records the recycler gives you.

    The DNR has created templates collection sites can use to track their loads, or as a guide for setting up their own tracking system. Contact DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin staff for a Word version or an Excel worksheet version of the template.

    All records related to the operation of E-Cycle Wisconsin must be kept on file by a collector for three years and made accessible to the DNR upon request.

    Suspension or revocation of collector registration

    If a collector fails to meet program requirements, the DNR may suspend or revoke its E-Cycle Wisconsin registration.

    DNR inspections of registered collection sites

    The DNR inspects several registered collection sites every year to ensure they manage materials properly, answer questions and provide technical assistance. Inspectors follow up after the inspection with a letter and work with sites to resolve any issues.

    Summary of requirements and best management practices

    The DNR has created a handout and short video summarizing best management practices for electronics collectors and E-Cycle Wisconsin requirements.

    Registration and Reporting

    Registration and reporting procedures

    Electronics collection event

    To participate in E-Cycle Wisconsin, collectors must register annually with the DNR. Collectors not participating in this program are not subject to its regulations and do not have to register.

    If a collector needs to make changes to its registration during the program year (e.g., add or remove collection sites or events), contact DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin staff.

    Initial registration

    If you are registering as a collector for the first time, contact us via email to get information and a registration form.

    Re-registration and annual report

    The annual re-registration and reporting deadline for collectors is Aug. 1.

    In the combined registration and report form, collectors must report the weights of eligible electronics collected under this program and the names of recyclers that received those eligible electronics. Only eligible electronics collected during the program year may be counted toward the totals for that year. See Guidance on Reporting EEDs Collected and Recycled over Program Year Transitions [PDF] for more information.

    If you have not previously filled out online forms for the DNR recycling program, please contact us so we can help you set up a user account.

    Report links

    Grants

    E-Cycle Wisconsin Collection Grant Program

    The DNR worked with legislators to create a grant program to direct some of the DNR's funds from registered manufacturers toward electronics collection efforts in counties or municipalities that have lacked consistent collection opportunities. Gov. Evers signed the new program into law in August 2021. Section 287.17 (10) (fm), Wis. Stats., authorizes the program and outlines basic requirements.

    Program requirements

    To provide more electronics recycling opportunities in underserved areas of the state, grants under this program must be used for hosting an electronics collection site or event or series of collection sites or events. Any site or event that receives grant funding must be registered with E-Cycle Wisconsin once the site is open or event details are finalized. The collector registering the site or event must meet all E-Cycle Wisconsin program requirements for registered collectors.

    A grant recipient must provide matching funds equal to at least 20% of the project's cost for which the grant is provided. The DNR expects to award the first grants under this new program in spring/summer 2022. The application deadline was April 29, 2022.

    Who can apply

    • Businesses
    • Local units of government
    • Nonprofit entities, including religious nonprofit entities
    • Tribal governing bodies

    Expenses eligible for grant funding

    The following expenses related to hosting an electronics collection site or event are reimbursable under this grant program:

    • Rental costs for facility or event site.
    • Materials necessary to host the collection site or collection event.
    • Advertising costs for the site or event.
    • Staff expenses for the site or event.
    • Costs to transport collected devices to a registered recycler.
    • Construction of new or improvements to structures, such as new buildings or building improvements; new site development to improve access; or improvements to encourage efficient electronics handling, such as concrete slabs or paving and loading ramps.

    Priority eligibility for grant funding

    The statute lays out specific priorities for awarding grants.

    1. Projects that will take place in a county that has no permanent collection site registered under E-Cycle Wisconsin and did not have a collection event registered under E-Cycle Wisconsin during the previous program year.
    2. Projects that will take place in a county that has no permanent collection site registered under E-Cycle Wisconsin that is open to all residents.
    3. Projects that will take place in a municipality with a population of 5,000 or more that does not have a permanent collection site registered under E-Cycle Wisconsin.
    4. Projects that do not meet the requirements under 1. to 3., at the determination of the DNR.

    Grant program information and application materials

    Please carefully read the following document before submitting a grant application. Contact DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin program staff if you have any questions or would like to talk through your project before applying.

    Applicants must submit one electronic copy of all application documents to DNRWIe-cycling@wisconsin.gov by the application deadline (5 p.m. CDT on April 29). Late submissions and partial applications with missing information or documentation will not be considered for funding.

    A complete application must include the following:

    • E-Cycle Wisconsin Electronics Collection Grant Program Application (Form 4400-329), which includes an itemized draft budget for the project, detailing expected costs of any eligible expenses and identifying all sources of the applicant’s 20% funding match.
    • Copies of any price quotes or estimates the applicant has received for eligible expenses (e.g., pricing from a registered recycler, printing/advertising quotes, equipment pricing, rental agreements).
    • If the applicant is not a municipality or other local government, a current copy of its W-9 form.

    The following forms are fillable PDFs. Please right-click the link and select the option to save to your device, then open using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or later. You can also email DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin staff to receive a copy of the application form.

    Resources

    Free outreach and educational materials

    The DNR has a wide variety of free outreach materials available for collectors to use. You can view electronic files or order print publications on our outreach page. In addition, we have special signs available for registered collectors and recyclers to use. To request electronic or print copies of these, email us.

    Additional program resources

    Collector best management practices

    Collector best management practices: electronic waste [PDF]

    Best management practices video:

    Guidance on state and federal requirements