Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR) Program
Appliances are valuable sources of scrap metal when they become obsolete or are no longer needed. However, some of the components in appliances contain materials that can cause health or environmental problems if they are not removed and properly managed prior to recycling. For a list of local CAR’s in your area, please see the Listing of Certified Appliance Recyclers. California law requires that appliances, and certain materials within appliances, be properly handled. The details of the Certified Appliance Recycler laws can be found in Health and Safety Code Section 25211, et seq. A helpful factsheet has also been prepared. The basic requirements of proper appliance recycling include the following:
- Certain documentation must accompany discarded appliances to ensure that “Materials that Require Special Handling” are removed by Certified Appliance Recyclers (Health and Safety Code Section 25211.3).
A person wishing to remove MRSH from major appliances is required to be certified by DTSC. DTSC will issue a Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR) certificate to any applicant who submits an application containing all of the information required by the law, including an adequate description of his or her ability to properly remove and manage all MRSH (Health and Safety Code Section 25211.1).
It is not necessary for a person who is certified as a refrigerant technician under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act to have certification as a CAR if he or she removes only refrigerants from major appliances. However, a person who removes refrigerants and other Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH) must be certified under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act and certified by DTSC as a CAR.
A person who only transports, delivers or sells an appliance to a scrap recycling facility does not need to be a CAR as long as the facility to which appliances are brought is a CAR and the appliance is accompanied by a completed Form 1430.
How Do I Get Certification to Recycle Appliances?
A person wishing to operate as a Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR) is required to submit a Certified Appliance Recycler Application, DTSC Form 1428 to the Department of Toxic Substances Control. DTSC evaluates the application to determine whether the prospective CAR is able to properly remove and manage Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH). The applicant may also need to obtain an EPA Identification Number prior to applying for certification, and to provide this information on the application. If the applicant will not generate more than 1 kilogram of acutely hazardous waste per month or more than 100 kilograms of other RCRA hazardous waste per month, the applicant may obtain a State of California Hazardous Waste Identification Number instead.
The application for certification requires a thorough description on how the prospective CAR would manage Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH) in ways that would ensure worker and environmental safety. The list below describes the level of detail and the type of information that has been provided by successful applicants for CAR certification:
- A description of the type(s) of major appliance the prospective CAR is expecting to recycle
- A listing of the Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH) found in these major appliances
- A listing of the MRSH that are covered in training of staff
- A description of the personal protective equipment to be used during the removal of MRSH
- The names, job titles, and certifications of personnel who will provide personnel training
- A brief description of the training
- How frequently staff will be provided with training
- When new staff are to be trained
- A description of hard copy and electronic resources available to staff
- A listing of tools/equipment that will be used to remove Materials that Require Special Handling
- A description of the procedure for removing MRSH for each of the different type of MRS
- A description of the containers for, and secondary containment of, each MRSH
- A discussion of how long MRSH will be accumulated at the applicant’s site
- A description of the applicant’s labeling system for each MRSH
- A description of how MRSH will be packaged to avoid breakage and release
- A description of the record-keeping system to be used to track generation, accumulation time, and disposition of MRSH
- The names of the companies that will pick up MRSH, and/or a description of where the MRSH will be taken or sent and the means of transportation
- Any other information you deem necessary for the DTSC to determine that you will be a capable Certified Appliance Recycling (CAR) facility
As is true for any hazardous waste generator, State regulations require that a CAR provide proper training in hazardous waste handling and emergency procedures to all employees of CARs who generate hazardous waste. For further discussion of these requirements, see our Fact Sheet for Hazardous Waste Generator Requirements. Publicly available resources may provide useful information for general appliance recycling, and for understanding proper management and safety concerns for mercury and refrigerants.
If your application is approved, you will be sent a certificate that includes your assigned CAR number. You must show this to a scrap recycling facility at the time of a delivery of appliances, along with a complete Form 1430. DTSC will also send a copy of your certification to your local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA), which generally is either your local Department of Environmental Health or fire department. The CUPA will subsequently inspect your facility to ensure you are properly removing and managing Materials that Require Special Handling.
How do I renew my certification?
You must re-apply to DTSC to renew your CAR by following the same requirements listed in the section above.
What Is Required of a Certified Appliance Recycler and scrap recycling facilities?
For detailed information on the requirements for CARS and scrap recycling facilities, please refer to the appliance recycling flowchart
Submit Form 1430 to a Scrap Recycling Facility
According to California Health and Safety Code Section 25211.2(b), a person may transport, deliver, or sell major appliances containing Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH) only to a scrap recycling facility that is a Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR). If you are a scrap recycling facility and not a CAR but wish to recycle appliances, appliances must first be processed by a CAR prior to crushing, baling, shredding, sawing and sheering. Please see our Listing of Certified Appliance Recyclers to find a CAR in your area.
- The CAR may deliver the appliances directly to the scrap recycling facility by providing DTSC Form 1430 and by showing the facility the CAR certificate.
- Alternatively, a transporter who is not a CAR may deliver appliances with Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH) removed to a scrap recycling facility, as long as that facility is also a CAR and the appliance is accompanied by a completed Form 1430.
- DTSC strongly recommends that the transporter or facility verify that the form is accurately completed and that the certificate of the CAR is still valid, as the certification is valid for three years.
- In general, the facility must retain the DTSC Form 1430 for a minimum of three years and make it available for inspection upon request by the DTSC or by the local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA).
The CAR must remove any Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH) prior to processing an appliance for scrap metal and must maintain a record containing the following information (Health & Safety Code 25211.3(a)):
- The amount, by volume or weight or both of each material that requires special handling
- The method used by the appliance recycler to recycle, dispose of, or otherwise manage each material that requires special handling, including the name and address of the facility to which each material was sent
- The number and types of appliances from which materials that require special handling are removed each year
- The reports required pursuant to Health and Safety Code 25211.2(c)
What about abandoned appliances?
An appliance that is found already processed in a way that could result in the release, or prevent the removal, of MRSH may be delivered to a scrap recycling facility by a person other than a CAR provided the receiving facility is a CAR and the person delivering the appliance completes DTSC Form 1459. The scrap recycling facility/CAR must determine what Materials that Require Special Handling (MRSH) have already been removed or are obstructed from removal and must remove any other MRSH prior to further processing of the appliance. A CAR that accepts “orphaned” appliances must also submit a monthly report to DTSC, which contains the following information (Health and Safety Code Section 25211.2(d)):
- The name and address of the person who transported, delivered or sold each appliance to the scrap recycling facility
- The total number of orphan appliances received.
Fact Sheets Related to Appliance Recycling
DTSC has prepared a fact sheet that explains the requirements of the Certified Appliance Recycler program in more detail: AB 1447-Changes to the Appliance Program.
Additionally, you may find some of these related links useful:
- DTSC’s Universal Waste Web page includes information and guidance on the management of universal wastes, including mercury switches.
DTSC’s Used Oil Fact Sheet includes information and guidance on how to manage used oil removed from discarded major appliances.
- DTSC’s Mercury Waste Web page includes guidance on locating and removing mercury switches from discarded major appliances.
- California Cash for Appliances Website
Compliance and Enforcement Issues
If you would like to submit a comment or concern regarding the compliance or enforcement of the requirements discussed above, please complete an environmental complaint form online or call our toll-free hotline at (800) 698-6942.
For illegal hazardous waste activities, please call the DTSC Complaint Hotline at (800) 698-6942.
Hazardous Waste Links
Hazardous Waste Related Links
- Emergency Response Program
- Export-Import Standards
- Fact Sheets & Publications
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Hazardous Waste Policies & Procedures
- Hazardous Waste Project Documents
- Kettleman Hills Landfill
- Office of Criminal Investigations
- Regulatory Assistance Office
- Report an Environmental Concern
- Find a Registered Hazardous Waste Transporter