On October 8, 2019, the Office of Administrative Law approved an adjustment to the covered electronic waste (CEW) recycling fee for covered electronic devices (CED). This CEW recycling fee is assessed when a California consumer buys a CED – generally, any video display device with a screen larger than four inches – from a retailer. These fees fund the CEW Recycling Program, which is run by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). At least once every two years, CalRecycle is required to assess the adequacy of the CEW recycling fee to generate sufficient revenues to fund the operation and administration of the CEW Recycling Program. This year, the CEW recycling fees were decreased by a dollar. The new fee levels are:

  • four dollars ($4) for each CED with a screen size of less than 15 inches measured diagonally;
  • five dollars ($5) for each CED with a screen size greater than or equal to 15 inches but less than 35 inches measured diagonally; and
  • six dollars ($6) for each CED with a screen size greater than or equal to 35 inches measured diagonally.

The retailer collects CEW recycling fees and remits them to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). CDTFA then deposits the funds into the Electronic Waste Recovery and Recycling Account. Approved recyclers and collectors of CEW subsequently receive payments to offset the average net cost of appropriate recovery, processing, and recycling activities for this type of waste. CalRecycle pays approved recyclers the combined recycling and recovery payment, and recyclers pass the recovery payment on to the approved collectors who recovered the CEW.

The fee adjustments will take effect on January 1, 2020 and will be codified at California Code of Regulations title 14, section 18660.40.