A N A C T
RELATING TO BATTERY DEPOSIT AND CONTROL
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Sections 23-60-1, 23-60-2, 23-60-3, 23-60-5 and 23-60-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-60 entitled "Battery Deposit and Control" are hereby amended to read as follows:
23-60-1. Legislative findings and policy. -- The general assembly finds and declares that vehicle batteries are
particularly difficult to dispose of and potentially harmful if improperly disposed of, and that it is necessary to adopt a special plan to control disposal and promote recycling of such batteries. This chapter sets forth a comprehensive plan for disposal of vehicle batteries.
23-60-2. Definitions. -- As used in this chapter:
(1) "Consumer" means an individual who purchases a vehicle battery for use, consumption, or any use other than resale;
(2) "Dealer" means every person in this state who engages in the sale of vehicle batteries;
(3) "Director" means the director of the department of environmental management;
(4) "Distributor" means every person who engages in the sale of vehicle batteries to a dealer in this state including any manufacturer who engages in such sales;
(5) "Manufacturer" means a person who manufactures vehicle batteries;
(6) "Person" means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, or organization of any kind whatsoever;
(7) "Place of business of a dealer" means the location at which a dealer sells or offers for sale vehicle batteries to consumers;
(8) "Vehicle" means every vehicle which is self-propelled and designed for carrying persons or property or which is used for the transportation of persons, including, but not limited to, buses, automobiles, truck, boats, motorcycles, farm, lawn and garden equipment, and snowmobiles;
(9) "Vehicle battery" means batteries used in any vehicle, or of a capacity of six (6) volts or more, and of one hundred fifty (150) pounds or less in weight, and like batteries in stationary uses.
23-60-3. Deposit on vehicle batteries. -- (a)
Every vehicle battery sold or offered for sale in this state shall have a deposit of five dollars ($5.00) paid at the time of sale.
(b) Payment of the deposit shall be waived when a used vehicle battery is delivered to the dealer at time of purchase. The deposit shall be returned to the consumer when a used vehicle battery is delivered to the dealer by that consumer within seven (7) days of the date of purchase of the new battery. A dealer shall not refuse to accept from any consumer any used vehicle battery, in reasonably clean and substantially unbroken condition
in accordance with the provisions of this section. as an exchange with the purchase of a new vehicle battery.
(b) A dealer may add a core charge to the sale of a battery. The core charge shall be waived when a used vehicle battery is delivered to the dealer at the time of purchase. The deposit shall be returned to the consumer when a used vehicle battery is delivered to the dealer by the consumer within seven (7) days of date of purchase of the new battery.
(c) All funds received by a dealer as a deposit on a vehicle battery shall be held in trust and separately accounted for by the dealer. Any interest on the funds shall enure to the benefit of the dealer. The funds shall not be subject to attachment or other process. In the event of the insolvency of the dealer, or, if the dealer shall for any reason cease doing business as a dealer, the funds shall be paid over to the state for the purpose of the administration of this chapter. Each dealer shall annually during the month of July pay over to the state for deposit as general revenues eighty percent (80%) of all deposits collected by the dealers and not returned to consumers during the preceding July 1 -- June 30 period. The balance of the deposits shall enure to the benefit of the dealer as of the day of remittance to the state as provided in the preceding sentence. The director, by regulation, shall prescribe acceptable methods for accounting for and holding the trust funds.
23-60-5. Distributor acceptance -- Reimbursement by distributor. -- (a) A distributor or manufacturer shall not refuse to accept from any dealer any used vehicle battery in reasonably clean and substantially unbroken condition of the kind, size, and brand sold by the distributor or manufacturer.
(b) The distributor or manufacturer shall reimburse the dealer for the cost of handling vehicle batteries in an amount which equals at least twenty percent (20%) of the deposit required under section 23-60-3. This payment shall be the minimum payment by the distributor or manufacturer for the battery and is included in the total purchase price for the battery if the total price is in excess of the minimum amount to be paid to the dealer hereunder.
(c) Whenever a dealer or group of dealers receives a shipment or consignment of, or in any manner acquires, vehicle batteries outside Rhode Island for sale to consumers in Rhode Island, the dealer or dealers shall comply with this chapter as if they were distributors, as well as dealers.
23-60-6. Disposal of used vehicle batteries. -- (a) No person shall dispose of any vehicle battery within the state except by delivery of the same to a
facilitydealer, distributor, or manufacturer or operated by the Rhode Island resource recovery corporation designated for that purpose, or to a privately operated recycling facility within the state licensed by the director for that purpose or by delivery for transportation to an out-of-state recycling facility.
(b) When delivered to the
solid waste managementresource recovery corporation for disposal, the corporation shall be paid a separate disposal fee at the time of delivery. This fee shall be set from time to time by the corporation to fully cover the cost of storage and transportation out of Rhode Island, or, if it is not feasible to transport out of Rhode Island, then the cost of recycling the materials of the battery and disposing of any residue.
(c) The department of environmental management shall provide a notice concerning the disposal of batteries to all retailers. The notice shall be 8.5 x 11 inches and all notices shall be of the same color, typeface, and type size. The notice shall include all of the following information: (1) it is illegal to dispose of a vehicle battery in a landfill or an incinerator; (2) vehicle batteries should be recycled; and (3) retailers must accept used vehicle batteries in trade. Retailers shall post this notice in a place where it can be readily observed by consumers.
SECTION 2. Section 23-60-7 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-60 entitled "Battery Deposit and Control" is hereby repealed in its entirety.
23-60-7. Licensing of vehicle battery recyclers. --
The director shall license any person to engage in the vehicle battery recycling business where the director shall find that the person shall have the proper equipment and facilities to properly recycle the materials of vehicle batteries and dispose of any residue. The license shall be annually renewable on January 1 of each year upon application of the licensee. The director may revoke the license at any time or refuse to renew the license upon a finding that the licensee has not operated the business to safely and properly recycle and dispose of vehicle batteries in a manner causing no pollution of the environment or violation of law. The initial license fee shall be fifty dollars ($50.00) and the fee for annual renewal shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00). Other than as set forth herein, the license shall be subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42.
SECTION 3. Sections 23-60.1-1 and 23-60.1-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-60.1 entitled "Dry Cell Battery Control" are hereby amended to read as follows:
23-60.1-1. Legislative findings and policy. -- The general assembly finds and declares that certain types of dry cell batteries contain toxic heavy metals that are harmful in municipal solid waste. Batteries containing cadmium, mercury, and lead are especially harmful, and some of these types are increasing in use.
It shall be the policy of the state to reduce the impact of such batteries through source reduction of toxics and by recycling.
23-60.1-2. Definitions. -- As used in this chapter:
(1) "Alkaline-manganese battery" means any dry cell battery containing manganese dioxide and zinc electrodes and an alkaline electrolyte.
(2) "Collector" means any person in this state who accepts dry cell batteries.
(3) "Department" means the department of environmental management or its successor.
(4) "Director" means the director of the department of environmental management or its successor.
(5) "Dry cell battery" means all batteries in which the electrolyte is absorbed, gelled, or solidified such that the electrolyte is not a free-standing body of liquid. Dry cell batteries do not include vehicle batteries as defined by section 23-60-2.
(6) "Lead-acid dry cell battery" means a battery containing a lead-acid system, generally used in rechargeable consumer products, and weighing less than twenty-five (25) pounds.
(7) "Manufacturer" means any person who manufactures dry cell batteries.
(8) "Mercuric-oxide battery" means a dry cell battery containing zinc and mercuric oxide electrodes and used both in household and non-household, often medical, applications.
(9) "Nickel-cadmium battery" means any dry cell battery containing cadmium and nickel electrodes and an alkaline electrolyte.
(10) "Person" means any natural person, political subdivision, government agency, public or private corporation, partnership, joint venture, association, firm, individual proprietorship, or other entity whatsoever.
(11) "Rechargeable consumer product" means any product that contains a rechargeable nickel-cadmium or lead-acid dry cell battery and is primarily used or purchased to be used for personal, family, or household purposes.
(12) "Recycling facility" means a facility that processes waste dry cell batteries such that heavy metals are removed for reuse.
(13) "Retailer" means any person in this state who engages in the sale of dry cell batteries.
SECTION 4. Sections 23-60.1-6, 23-60.1-7, 23-60.1-8, 23-60.1-9, 23-60.1-10, 23-60.1-11, 23-60.1-12 and 23-60.1-13 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-60.1 entitled "Dry Cell Battery Control" are hereby repealed in their entirety.
23-60.1-6. The recycling of industrial-use nickel-cadmium or lead-acid dry cell batteries. --
(a) Effective January 1, 1994, a manufacturer of nickel-cadmium, mercuric-oxide, or lead-acid dry cell batteries that are purchased for use or used by a government agency, an industrial communications facility, or a medical facility shall:
(1) Ensure that a system for the proper collection, transportation, and processing of waste batteries exists for purchasers in Rhode Island; and
(2) Clearly inform each purchaser of the prohibition of disposal of waste nickel-cadmium, mercuric-oxide, and lead-acid dry cell batteries and of the system or systems for proper collection, transportation, and processing of waste batteries available to the purchaser.
(b) To ensure that a system for the proper collection, transportation, and processing of waste batteries exists, a manufacturer shall:
(1) Identify collectors, transporters, and processors for the waste batteries and contract or otherwise expressly agree with a person or persons for the proper collection, transportation, and processing of the waste batteries; or
(2) Accept waste batteries returned to its manufacturing facility for proper processing.
(c) A manufacturer that has complied with this section is not liable under section 23-60.1-5.
23-60.1-7. Rechargeable tools and appliances. --
After January 1, 1994, a rechargeable consumer product manufactured on or after July 1, 1993, containing a nickel-cadmium or lead-acid dry cell battery may not be distributed, offered for sale or sold in this state unless:
(1) The battery can be easily removed by the consumer or is contained in a battery pack that is separate from the product and can be easily removed; and
(2) The product and the battery are both labeled in a manner that is clearly visible to the consumer, indicating that the battery may not be disposed of in municipal waste; and
(3) The battery is clearly labeled as to the type of electrode used in the battery.
23-60.1-8. Manufacturer exemptions. --
(a) Any battery manufacturer may petition the director to exempt a rechargeable consumer product containing a nickel-cadmium or lead-acid dry cell battery from the requirements of section 23-60.1-7 and the director may exempt the product, if:
(1) The product cannot be reasonably redesigned and manufactured to comply with the requirements prior to July 1, 1993; or
(2) The redesign of the product to comply with the requirements would result in significant permanent damage to human health.
(b) An exemption granted by the director may be for no more than two (2) years' duration and may be renewed.
23-60.1-9. Labeling requirement. --
After January 1, 1994, a rechargeable nickel-cadmium or lead-acid dry cell battery manufactured on or after July 1, 1993, may not be distributed, offered for sale, or sold in this state unless:
(1) The battery is labeled in a manner that is clearly visible to the consumer, indicating that the battery may not be disposed of in municipal waste;
(2) The battery is clearly identifiable as to the type of electrode used in the battery.
23-60.1-10. Recycling program. --
(a) The department shall develop regulations to govern a dry cell battery recycling program and shall work with the manufacturers of nickel-cadmium, mercuric-oxide, and lead-acid dry cell batteries to establish a program to collect such batteries. The program shall be effective by January 1, 1994.
(b) All nickel-cadmium, mercuric-oxide, and lead-acid dry cell batteries sold and offered for sale in the state shall include a toll-free telephone number on the battery or its packaging or other material provided to the user. For button batteries that are too small to be labeled, the label shall be printed on the battery packaging.
23-60.1-11. Distributor acceptance -- Reimbursement by distributor. --
(a) Effective January 1, 1994, a distributor or manufacturer shall not refuse to accept from any collector any used nickel-cadmium, mercuric-oxide, or lead-acid dry cell battery of the type, size, and brand sold by the distributor or manufacturer.
(b) Whenever a collector or group of collectors receives a shipment or consignment of, or in any manner acquires, nickel-cadmium, mercuric-oxide, or lead-acid dry cell batteries outside Rhode Island for sale to consumers in Rhode Island, the collector or group of collectors shall comply with this chapter as if they were distributors, as well as collectors.
23-60.1-12. Rules and regulations. -- The director shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement this chapter. 23-60.1-13. Penalty. -- Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to an administrative penalty of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). Each day that the violation continues or exists shall constitute a separate offense. Any revenues received pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited as general revenues.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon passage.