FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Products with a battery embedded inside them, such as gaming controllers and phones may soon get more expensive after the signing of Senate Bill 1215 and Assembly Bill 2440 on Monday.
Governor Gavin Newson signed SB 1215 and AB 2440 as part of a legislative climate package aimed at increasing battery recycling in California. This is in part due to the rising number of fires in material recovery facilities, waste collection trucks, and landfills. Experts say these kinds of fires pose serious toxic threats to the health and safety of workers, firefighters, and the surrounding community.
AB 2440 is also known as the Responsibility Battery Act of 2022. It would require battery producers to establish, fund, and operate a stewardship program for the collection and recycling of covered batteries, and covered battery-embedded products. They would also have to develop and submit to state agencies a stewardship plan, as well as recommend the necessary standards and elements for said plan.
SB 1215 expands the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 (which already includes covered electronic devices like TVs and monitors). It has now been expanded to include products that have batteries built in, such as gaming controllers and portable speakers. The bill requires consumers on and after January 1, 2026, to pay a covered electronic waste recycling fee amount, determined by CalRecycle, upon the purchase of new or refurbished battery-embedded products.
The new cost of stewardship programs for the collection and recycling of covered batteries thanks to AB 2440 will make our electronic devices, will end up affecting consumers. If their costs rise, so does the retail price. Now add the extra fee added by SB 1215 and you may be seeing a significant rise in the cost of your already expensive battery-embedded electronics.