Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR) Program


Appliance Recycling

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:

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.

Should your business location change, you must obtain a new EPA identification Number and contact DTSC at car@dtsc.ca.gov with the updated information.




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.

Upon removal of Materials that Require Special Handling, a CAR is required to complete DTSC Form 1430 (Health & Safety Code 25211.2(a)) and submit the form upon the transfer of the appliance(s).

  • 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 and FAQs 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:

Compliance and Enforcement Issues

If you would like to submit a comment or complaint 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


View all answers

Q. What hazardous waste or universal waste materials are commonly found in major appliances?
A.

  The following materials may be found in major appliances:

Q. If my facility collects or stores major appliance waste and contracts a Certified Appliance Recycler to remove materials on-site, which EPA ID number is reported to the DTSC on Form 1430?
A.

 Either the EPA ID number associated with the location of the facility or the EPA ID number associated with the CAR facility may be used on the DTSC Form 1430.

Q. Do appliance transporters need to become Certified Appliance Recyclers?
A.

 No. A person who is not a CAR may transport, deliver or sell discarded major appliances to a scrap recycling facility only if the following criteria is met:

  • The appliance is being transported as an orphan appliance.
  • The appliance has been crushed, baled, shredded, sawed or sheared apart, and the transporter provides the scrap recycling facility with a complete DTSC Form 1430.

Q. How are the refrigerants managed once removed: All in one mixed container? Segregated? What is the proper type of container? Is it labeled and dated? Where is it stored?
A.

 Refrigerants are extracted from refrigeration units by refrigerant type R-12, R-22, R-134. The Department makes every effort possible not to mix refrigerant types. Refrigerants are extracted directly into approved and certified refrigerant compressed gas cylinders that are labeled and dated. All refrigerants are stored under lock and key in the Department's Household hazardous Waste collection Facility operating under permit by rule. Refrigerants are then transported to the approved refrigerant recycler.

Q. How is the oil managed once removed? What type of container is used? Is it labeled and dated? Where is it stored?
A.

 Used oil from gas operated equipment such as lawn mowers is recycled with other engine oil. It is stored in a 250 gallon tank on site with scheduled pickups by the Department Hazardous waste contractor. The tank is labeled as used oil with a California Hazardous Waste label with proper shipping name, accumulation dates and generator information. Oil from clothes washer transmissions is also added to the 250 gallon tank for recycling. Oil from refrigeration unit compressors is often contaminated and for this reason the oil is stored separately in 55 gallon drums that are labeled as used oil with a California hazardous Waste label with proper shipping name, accumulation dates and generator information. The drums are tested for contamination by the contracted hazardous waste hauler in the presence of a Department employee. If the oil is not contaminated, it is recycled. If the test results show possible PCB contamination, the oil is managed as hazardous waste.

Q. How do I renew my certification after it expires in three years?
A.

 You must complete an entirely new application, Form 1428.

Q. Describe how capacitors are managed. All in one bin, Segregated? Recycled? Hazardous Waste disposal? How do employees identify capacitors? PCB type?
A.

Capacitors are stored in two categories, non-PCB and PCB. Employees are trained to look for the label stating non-PCB. If there is no label, the capacitor is considered to contain PBCs and managed as such. Capacitors are stored in 55 gallon drums with Hazardous Waste labeling with all required information including proper shipping name, accumulation dates and generator information. All PCB containing capacitors are managed as hazardous waste. Non-PCB capacitors are recycled or managed as hazardous waste.

Q. Does a scrap recycling facility need to collect Form 1430 from another scrap metal facility or feeder yard?
A.

DTSC Form 1430 is required at the initial transaction of the discarded major appliance (with the Materials that Require Special Handling removed) from the Certified Appliance Recycler or transporter to the scrap recycling facility. No DTSC Form 1430 is required between two scrap recycling facilities in the event the Materials that Require Special Handling have been removed.

Q. If a major appliance does not contain any Materials that Require Special Handling, can it be managed as scrap metal when it becomes a waste?
A.

If the appliance contained Materials that Require Special Handling and they have been removed, the remaining shell is considered scrap metal and may be managed as such, following the collection of DTSC Form 1430.

Q. How long does it take to receive certification as a CAR?
A.

If the application contains all information and it is apparent the applicant is able to properly remove MRSH, the certification is completed within one week. However, if information is missing from the application, the certification will take longer.

Q. Does a scrap recycling facility that is a Certified Appliance Recycler need to complete Form 1430?
A.

No, but the CAR must maintain on-site records for three years containing the following information: the amount of appliances by volume or weight or both; the volume or weight or both of each MRSH; the method used by the appliance recycler to recycle, dispose of or otherwise manage each MRSH, including the name and address of the facility to which each material was sent; and the number of appliances from which MRSH are removed each year. Form 1430 and Form 1459, submitted to the scrap recycling facility by the transporter, must also be maintained.

Q. Does a solid waste facility need to be a Certified Appliance Recycler?
A.

No, not if it only receives, stores or transports major appliances.

     Yes, if the facility plans to remove Materials that Require Special Handling from appliances. A CAR can be hired by the facility to remove Materials that Require Special Handling from the facility. The CAR can work either on site or off-site.

Q. Does a feeder yard need to be a Certified Appliance Recycler?
A.

No, not if they only receive, store, or transport major appliances.

     Yes, if the facility plans to remove “Materials Requiring Special Handling” from appliances. A CAR can be hired by the facility to remove “Materials Requiring Special Handling” from the facility's major appliance wasters. The CAR can work either on-site or off-site.

Q. Does an appliance repair business need to become a Certified Appliance Recycler?
A.

No. If the appliance is being repaired, it is not a waste. CAR requirements apply to discarded major appliances. Once an appliance is discarded and becomes a waste, a CAR would need to properly remove and dispose of all the Materials that Require Special Handling.

Q. When parts from a major appliance come in (for example, a load of drained refrigerator compressors), can they be considered appliances?
A.

No. Pieces or parts from appliances are not considered major appliances. A major appliance is any domestic or commercial device, including but not limited to a washing machine, clothes dryer, water heater, dehumidifier, conventional oven, microwave oven, stove, refrigerator, freezer, air-conditioner, trash compactor and residential furnace.

Q. What about batteries and fluorescent lights? What training is necessary to manage and identify these items? What is necessary for removal and management?
A.

Program staff are trained to recognize batteries in electronics, appliances and other gas and/or electronic equipment. Lead acid batteries (auto type) are recycled at a local recycler. Other batteries found in cordless power tools, wireless and cordless phone, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys, are recycled or managed as hazardous waste. Staff are trained to remove the batteries without damaging the battery in a manner that could result in leakage.

Q.   How do I obtain an EPA ID number?
A.

Refer to the EPA Web site for the instructions on obtaining an EPA ID number

Q. How long does it take to receive certification?
A.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) processes the certification within two weeks after the application is completed.

Q. When does a CAR need an EPA ID number?
A.

The law requires persons who remove Materials that Require Special Handling from appliances to get an EPA ID number. Any person who removes a regulated hazardous waste is considered a hazardous waste generator and must obtain an EPA ID number and comply with all applicable laws for generators of hazardous waste.

Q. If an appliance becomes damaged and a MRSH becomes inaccessible, can it be left in the appliance, or does it have to be removed?
A.

The law requires that Materials that Require Special Handling must be removed from a discarded major appliance and cannot be disposed of in a solid waste facility or landfill. Materials Requiring Special Handling must be removed from the appliance prior to the appliance being crushed, baled, shredded, sawed or sheared apart, disposed of, or otherwise processed in a manner that could result in the release of hazardous materials. You must be a CAR to remove and manage those materials.

Q. How much does it cost to obtain certification?
A.

There is no application fee to become a Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR).

Q. Are microwave ovens considered major appliances or electronic wastes?
A.

Usually, microwaves are both a "major appliance" and a "Universal Waste Electronic Device" (UWED).  

     A Certified Appliance Recycler that handles microwaves must remove and certify the removal of the three types of capacitors specified in the law as Materials that Require Special Handling (i.e., the PCB-containing, DEHP-containing and any other metal-encased capacitors) from the microwave oven prior to recycling. Once removed, any PCG-containing capacitor is hazardous waste; any DEHP-containing capacitors and other metal-encased capacitors would likely not be hazardous wastes.

     An appliance recycler who handles microwave ovens that are not large metal items that are identified as toxic are subject to the  "Universal Waste Electronic Device" (UWED) rules for microwave ovens.

Q. Can I accept waste appliances from which the Materials that Require Special Handling have been removed?
A.

Yes, if you have determined that the appliance was not processed in a manner that resulted in the release of those materials or if you are a CAR and will properly remove any remaining MRSH.

     No, if the appliance has been processed in a manner that could result in the release of those materials.

Q. Can I ship intact appliances to other states or countries without removing the Materials that Require Special Handling?
A.

Yes.

Q. I already have a California Hazardous Waste ID number. Do I still need to become a CAR?
A.

Yes. The CAR certification is separate from the California ID numbers.

Q. Can the weight of the appliances be used on the DTSC Form 1430?
A.

Yes. The weight of the appliances may be used on DTSC Form 1430.


For illegal hazardous waste activities, please call the DTSC Complaint Hotline at (800) 698-6942.