End-of-Life Product Management
When some kinds of products expire or reach the end of their useful lives, various authorities increasingly require that the producer take them back or pay for recycling or particular forms of disposal rather than allowing them to enter the general waste stream. Even when take-bake is not required, manufacturers and/or retailers frequently develop collection and recycling programs on a voluntary basis. In either event, handling of end-of-life products triggers additional regulatory requirements. Beveridge & Diamond assists clients in all aspects of end-of-life product requirements. We have advised and represented clients on the following issues, among others.
- The European Union requirements limiting disposal of waste electric and electronic equipment in landfills (the “WEEE” Directive) and with WEEE counterparts in other parts of the world.
- Restrictions on disposal of products containing mercury and other heavy metals under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal and other international agreements.
- U.S., state, and foreign product take-back requirements involving expired pharmaceuticals, pesticides whose registrations have been canceled, and electronics.
- Collection and management of recalled products (e.g., foods, toys, and hardware) in accordance with applicable governmental requirements for solid or hazardous wastes and water discharges, including managing multi-jurisdictional reviews of international, transnational, and country-specific requirements for the storage, handling, transportation, and disposal of recalled hazardous products.
- The types of recycling and reclamation that can be undertaken without triggering Resource Conservation and Recovery Act hazardous waste management requirements, including counseling and defense of enforcement actions with respect to when a product becomes a “waste.”
- Streamlining the transport requirements for used electronics by petitioning the Department of Transportation on behalf of an electronics industry trade association for a determination that state rules for transport of used electronics are preempted by federal law.
- The regulatory hurdles and potential liabilities associated with a proposed voluntary program for collection and recycling of the products of a major consumer products manufacturer, including ideas for structuring the program to minimize problems and helping draft contracts with other participants in the program.
- Worldwide requirements for collection of catalysts for metals recovery.