Battery-embedded products are on track to be included in California’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act after a bill passed the Senate and Assembly.
If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs SB 1215 into law, consumers will be required to pay an electronic waste recycling fee upon the purchase of certain new or refurbished products starting Jan. 1, 2026.
A covered battery-embedded product is one containing a battery “that is not intended to be easily removed from the product by the consumer with no more than commonly used household tools,” the bill’s text states, excluding medical devices, energy storage systems and electronic nicotine delivery systems.
The fee amount is to be set by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) by Oct. 1, 2025.
“The goal, between the two bills, is to improve the safe collection and recycling of batteries both in products and not in products,” an Aug. 24 Senate bill analysis stated.
The same bill analysis estimates the expansion will cost CalRecycle about $2.5 million per year.
SB 1215 passed the Senate Aug. 30 on a vote of 31-9 and the Assembly on Aug. 22 on a 61-1 vote. The last day of the legislative session was Aug. 31.
Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), told E-Scrap News that CTA actively supported SB 1215 and “worked closely with retailer and recycling industry representatives to make this a consensus approach for California.”
“SB 1215 was clearly the best option on the table and the unique structure of the California e-waste program made consensus possible,” he said. “Even so, if signed by the governor I do expect significant tweaks and modifications” before the new advance recycling fee kicks in.
Learn more in person
This month’s E-Scrap Conference in New Orleans will offer attendees an in-depth look at the biggest trends on the legislative side of the sector. A workshop on State Program Updates is set for Monday, Sept. 19. The How the State Program Landscape Is Evolving session takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 20. And the Tensions in State Programs panel is set for Wednesday, Sept. 21. Sign up for the event today!
Jason Linnell, executive director of the National Center for Electronics Recycling, said the California legislation has implications for other state programs.
“Many other state programs are trying to figure out how battery-containing electronics should be handled, whether embedded or removable,” Linnell told E-Scrap News. “So, they will be assessing what is already covered and how they are handled, and now looking at what California is doing.”
He added that the substantial lead time to figure out what products meet the definition of “covered battery-embedded product” will be needed in California.
According to Senate documents, supporters of the bill include the California Product Stewardship Council, Californians Against Waste, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the California Retailers Association, Republic Services and The Toy Association.
California has the oldest regulated e-scrap recycling program in the U.S., charging consumers fees at the point of sale to fund it. State government provides payments to e-scrap companies that collect and recycle covered electronics. The program also covers CRT TVs and monitors, LCD TVs and laptops, plasma TVs (excluding plasma projection TVs), OLED display devices, LCD smart displays, LCD tablets and portable DVD players.
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