Governor Signs Legislation Requiring Battery Recycling, Take-Back Programs

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ALBANY, N.Y.--Gov. David A. Paterson (D) signed a bill to require that rechargeable batteries be recycled and that battery manufacturers establish programs to accept and recycle used rechargeable batteries.

The bill (S. 3593), which is known as the New York State Rechargeable Battery Law, prohibits the disposal of rechargeable batteries in mixed solid waste. The bill requires retailers that sell rechargeable batteries to accept used ones for recycling.

The measure, which Paterson signed Dec. 13, is designed to protect groundwater and the environment from toxic metals, such as cadmium and lead, contained in batteries. Among products that use rechargeable batteries are cellular and cordless phones, digital cameras, and laptop computers.

The main provisions of the bill will take effect 360 days after it was signed.

Paterson also signed a bill (A. 42012) that updates the New York State Energy Conservation Code contained in the state Energy Law to meet the requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The bill is designed to meet the federal law's requirements so the state can compete for federal funding.

Under the bill, the state code will meet or exceed the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) or its equivalent for residential buildings and meet or exceed so-called Standard 90.1 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for commercial buildings. The bill takes effect Jan. 1.

By Gerald B. Silverman

Text of the recycling bill (S. 3593) is available at

Text of the energy conservation bill (A. 42012) is available at

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