Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-24.9
Mercury Reduction and Education Act

SECTION 23-24.9-10

§ 23-24.9-10. Collection of mercury-added products. [Effective until January 1, 2020.].

(a) After January 1, 2006, no mercury-added product shall be offered for final sale or use or distribution for promotional purposes in Rhode Island unless the manufacturer, either on its own or in concert with other persons, has implemented a system, after review and approval of the director, for the convenient and accessible collection of such products when the consumer is finished with them. Where a mercury-added product is a component of another product, the collection system must provide for removal and collection of the mercury-added component or collection of both the mercury-added component and the product containing it. Mercury-added components in motor vehicles shall be collected and recycled as provided for in subdivision (b)(2) of this section. Mercury-containing thermostats shall be collected and recycled as provided for in § 23-24.9-10.2.

(b)(1) This section shall not apply to the collection of mercury-added button cell batteries or mercury-added lamps or products where the only mercury contained in the product comes from a mercury-added button cell battery or a mercury-added lamp; and

(2) Mercury-added components in motor vehicles at end-of-life shall be collected and recycled as provided in this subsection. Significant, willful failure to comply with rules and/or regulations to implement the provisions of this section shall constitute, as may be determined by the department, a violation of the ban established in § 23-24.9-9. No scrap recycling facility or other person that receives a flattened, crushed or baled end-of-life vehicle shall be deemed to be in violation of subdivision 23-24.9-10(b)(2) and rules and regulations pursuant thereto or § 23-24.9-9 if a mercury switch is found in the vehicle after its acquisition.

For the purposes of subdivision 23-24.9-10(b)(2) the following terms shall have the following meanings: (i) "Capture rate" means the annual removal, collection, and recovery of mercury switches, as a percentage of the total number of mercury switches available for removal from end-of-life vehicles as determined by the department of environmental management. Capture rate shall not include mercury switches that are inaccessible due to significant damage to the motor vehicle in the area where the mercury switch is located; (ii) "Mercury added component" or "Mercury switch" means a mercury-added convenience light switch assembly or capsule from an end-of-life motor vehicle; (iii) "Scrap-recycling facility" means a fixed location where machinery and equipment are utilized for processing and manufacturing scrap metal into prepared grades and whose principal product is scrap iron, scrap steal, or nonferrous metallic scrap for sale for remelting purposes; and (iv) "Vehicle recycler" means and individual or entity licensed under the provisions of § 42-14.2-3 that engages in the business of acquiring, dismantling, parts recycling from, or destroying six (6) or more end-of-life vehicles in a calendar year.

(A) Manufacturers of motor vehicles sold in Rhode Island that contain mercury switches shall, individually or collectively, establish and implement a collection program for mercury switches to achieve a capture rate of not less than fifty percent (50%) for calendar year 2006, and not less than seventy percent (70%) for calendar year 2007 and each calendar year thereafter through calendar year 2017.

(B) The department shall develop, issue, administer and enforce regulation compelling the manufacturers of motor vehicles sold in Rhode Island that contain mercury switches to undertake a collection program as set forth in this subparagraph, 23-24.9-10(b)(2)(B). The department shall determine that the capture rate in each year of the program and shall assess whether any failure to achieve the capture rate was the result of a force-majeure. The department shall report publicly on or before March 31, each year its findings with regard to the capture rate during the prior year. The manufacturer or manufacturers shall pay the total cost of the removal, replacement, collection and recovery system for mercury switches, under this subparagraph, 23-24.9-10(b)(2)(B), to the vehicle recycler or scrap-recycling facility that removed the switch. The total cost shall include, but not be limited to a minimum of five dollars ($5.00) for each mercury switch removed by a vehicle recycler or by a scrap-recycling facility, as partial compensation for the labor and other costs incurred in the removal of the mercury switch.

(3) The provisions of subdivision 23-24.9-10(b)(2) shall satisfy collection programs and disposal requirements for mercury switches for all motor vehicles sold in the state.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2001, ch. 234, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 318, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 235, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 328, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 70, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 81, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 266, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 268, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 318, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 507, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 131, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 145, § 1.)