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Electronic Waste

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is any waste that is or has a circuit board, electronic component (e.g., diode, resistor, capacitor, or coil), display device, or computer. It does not include vehicles or white goods like refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, or other similar large appliances. E-waste contains heavy metals—such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium—that can be harmful if released into the environment.

Indiana’s Electronic Waste law (IC 13-20.5) prohibits households, small businesses, and schools from disposing of e-waste in the trash. E-waste must be recycled to ensure hazardous components are responsibly managed and valuable materials (e.g., steel, glass, plastic), as well as precious metals (e.g., copper, gold, tin, silicon, aluminum) are reclaimed for the manufacturing of new products. The E-Waste law also establishes requirements for manufacturers of video display devices, e-waste collectors and recyclers, and retailers. Guidance for businesses and organizations that produce e-waste is available on the Recycle Indiana site.

Registration and Other Regulatory Requirements

Indiana’s Electronic Waste Management rules (329 IAC 16 [PDF]) require facilities that store or process e-waste to register with IDEM before beginning operations and to comply with storage, operating, training, disposal, cleanup, closure, and financial assurance requirements. The E-Waste Management rules apply to anyone who collects, brokers, stores, recycles, resells, dismantles, or demanufactures e-waste, which includes shredded circuit boards. Facilities that process e-waste by thermal treatment or chemical treatment must obtain a solid waste processing facility permit under 329 IAC 11 [PDF] and 329 IAC 16-4-1 [PDF].

Certain facilities are excluded from the registration and other requirements in 329 IAC 16:

  • Sites collecting and storing less than 23 tons of e-waste in a building or lockable trailer
  • Sites collecting e-waste that is removed within 5 business days to a registered or permitted facility, or an appropriate facility out of state
  • Brokers who do not take possession of the e-waste
  • Electronic device refurbishing or retailers of refurbished electronics
  • Facilities that hold a valid permit under 329 IAC 3.1, 329 IAC 10, or 329 IAC 11 and process and store e-waste according to those permit requirements
  • Sites that store and process their own e-waste
  • Recycling operations that have incidental amounts of e-waste mixed with larger volumes of recyclables
  • Hazardous waste generators who comply with specific requirements in 329 IAC 16-3-1(b)

Registration Process

To register an e-waste facility, the registrant must submit:

  • A completed Registration for Indiana Electronic Waste Storage and Processing Facility (State Form 54138, available on the IDEM Agency Forms page). This form provides IDEM with the basic information about the facility and its operation.
  • A contingency plan that establishes an organized, planned, and coordinated course of action to be followed in case of an emergency.
  • Proof of the financial assurance needed to clean up and officially close a site if the owners or operators were to abandon or improperly close the facility. The proof can be a surety bond, letter of credit, evidence of insurance, or receipt for payment into a trust fund.

Registrations are valid for up to five years and there is no registration fee.

Renewals and Transferability

A renewal registration (State Form 54138) must be submitted to IDEM 60 days before the expiration date of the existing registration. If the amounts of e-waste or electronic debris specified in Section E (1) of the registration form changes during the registration period, the registrant must submit a renewal registration. Registrations are not transferable.

For Assistance

For questions about the e-waste law, rules, or registration, please contact the e-waste inquiries staff under Subject-Specific Contacts.