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LIBA Testimony to Natural Resources Committee on LB 454 – 28 February 2013

LIBA is adamantly opposed to the Nebraska’s adoption of the Electronics Extended Producer Responsibility and Job Creation Act.  The act has the potential to impose huge costs on Nebraska businesses including many electronics retailers.

The Act imposes costs on what it deems “manufactures” of electronics.   However, its definition of “manufacturer” will include many smaller local businesses who are not your traditional idea of manufacturers. Under the definition of “manufacturer” found in §(3)(11)(e) of this act any person who “imports” more than 1,000 units of electronic equipment for sale in  Nebraska is subject to the requirements of this act.

Under this definition, local retailers such as Schaefers electronics would be considered a manufacturer.  Schaefers store sells appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines as well as electronics covered under this act such as Televisions, DVD and Blu Ray players and audio equipment.    Schaefers employs more than 70 people and sells well over 1,000 units a year which it obtains from out of state distributors.

Not only are the subject to this act but they are treated the same as giant manufacturers such as Dell or HP.

  • Accept a minimum amount of electronics for recycling each year.  Statute sets this amount and if the manufacturer does not reach it they must pay a penalty
  • Provide a public education program about recycling electronics including a web site, toll free phone number, and public service announcements
  • Pay a registration fee to the State of Nebraska of up to $5,000
  • Pay a reporting Fee to the state of Nebraska of $2,750 every year
  • Keep detailed records  which include
    • Sales of electronics by weight
    • Quantity by weight of electronics collected
    • Electronics received for recycling from Nebraska consumers and from out of state consumers

That is not to mention the actual cost of recycling the product which they would be statutorily prohibited from charging to the consumer.

These high costs will force local retailers to alter the way they do business to cut employees or strictly limit their sales of electronics. These high costs could encourage our local manufacturers to relocate.  It could cause potential manufacturers, retailers, and employers who were considering locating in Nebraska to reconsider.

This is all to deal with a problem that the industry seems to be making great strides toward resolving on its own.  Many local businesses such as Schaefers, Schrock Innovations and Level Seven Computers already recycle electronics of any brand brought in by customers.  On the national level large manufacturers have partnered with brick and mortar stores such as Staples and the Goodwill to accept any electronics for recycling cialis kaufen billig.  It is true that there may be situations, such as in western Nebraska, where there is no partner store.  To provide for this eventuality of these manufacturers have mail back recycling programs which allow consumers to mail their used electronics to the manufacturer for recycling at no cost.  In fact Apple will even send consumers an Apple gift card for Apple devices returned.

The Electronics Extended Producer Responsibility and Job Creation Act aspire to high ideals but in the end it worse than falls short.  The Act cost our local electronics retailers thousands of dollars yearly, it may cause these retailers to cut jobs or even to alter the mix of products they sell all to fund a program that is largely unnecessary.