As stated in North Carolina General Statute 130A-290(a) "Definitions," the term “white goods” includes refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, freezers, unit air conditioners, washing machines, dishwashers, clothes dryers and other similar domestic and commercial large appliances.
The program's purpose is to discourage the illegal disposal of white goods and recycle refrigerant gasses. North Carolina General Statute 130A-309.80 states that: “The General Assembly finds that white goods are difficult to dispose of, that white goods contain chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants, pose a danger to the environment, and that it is in the best interest of the State to require that chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants be removed from discarded white goods.”
The program is funded by a $3.00 disposal tax on the sale of white goods, collected at the retail level. The white goods disposal tax is imposed by Article 5C of Chapter 105 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The funds collected are redistributed to counties by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
Due to reductions in funding per Session Law 2013-360, the Appropriations Act of 2013, the Division of Waste Management - Solid Waste Section no longer offers white goods grants to counties.
Counties should make adjustments to their budgets accordingly. Counties will continue to receive white goods tax distributions.
White goods tax proceeds a county receives are to be spent on white goods activities. North Carolina General Statute 130A-309.82 states that white goods money must be spent on the management of discarded white goods. This can be done in any combination of three ways:
- Operating costs [directly related to the management of white goods]: Funds may be expended on white goods management such as, but not limited to, employee salaries, training expenses (only if the employee has actually touched white goods, known as the “touch it rule”), equipment maintenance and fuel, equipment operator’s time, etc. Weigh master and supervisory activities spent on white goods are not considered to be direct white goods activities.
- Capital improvements [directly related to the management of white goods]: Funds may be expended on infrastructure and equipment. Typical infrastructure will include concrete pads, sheds, and buildings. Equipment may include refrigerant reclamation machinery, skid steers, front loaders, grappling or knuckle boom loaders, etc. If a piece of equipment’s use will be split with another program, the county must estimate the percentage of use and only apply the estimated amount to the white goods account.
- Cleanup of illegal dumps [directly or partially related to the management of white goods]: The county must estimate the amount of white goods in the illegal dump. If the estimated amount is 50 percent or greater, the entire dump may be paid for with white goods tax proceeds. If the dump is estimated at less than 50 percent, only that portion may be paid for with white goods tax proceeds. Please contact the Regional Environmental Specialist before initiating cleanup activities.
Eligibility for Quarterly Distributions of the White Goods Tax Proceeds:
Counties are ineligible to receive quarterly distributions of the white goods tax proceeds in two ways: (1) failure to submit the Annual Financial Information Report (AFIR) by November 1st annually and (2) if the white goods undesignated ending balance on the AFIR is greater than or equal to the calculated “threshold amount," as stated in NCGS 130A-309.87(a).
A county can regain eligibility by submitting the AFIR to the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer showing that the white goods undesignated balance is less than the "threshold amount" and notifying the Solid Waste Section. If the county previously submitted the AFIR and the white goods undesignated balance has fallen below the "threshold amount," certification from the county's finance officer shall be sent to the Solid Waste Section. The Solid Waste Section will notify the North Carolina Department of Revenue to resume the county's quarterly distributions of the white goods tax proceeds.
The county's recently submitted AFIR shall be available for review at the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer website or the finance officer certification received by the Solid Waste Section per the Cycle of Events listed below in order to receive the next distribution of the white goods disposal tax proceeds.
Contact Information: John.Patrone@deq.nc.gov or 919-280-4814.
Mailing address: Division of Waste Management, Attn: John Patrone, 1646 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1646