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White Goods

The term “white goods” refers to refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, freezers, unit air conditioners, washing machines, 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 found 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 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.  

North Carolina Department of Revenue - Local Government Distributions

North Carolina Department of State Treasurer - Annual Financial Information Reports (AFIR)

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 revenues 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 white goods. This can be done in any combination of three ways:

  1. 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 and expenses in training concerned with white goods, (only where 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.
  2. 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 white goods.
  3. Clean-up 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 money. If the dump is estimated at less than 50 percent, only that portion may be paid for with white goods money. Please contact the Waste Management Specialist before initiating clean up activities.

Eligibility

Some counties are ineligible to receive their tax distributions but can regain eligibility by designating funds and submitting their Annual Financial Information Reports (AFIR).  Counties can be ineligible to receive white goods revenues in two ways.  First, failure of a county to submit its AFIR by March 1 results in a county becoming ineligible to receive further tax distributions.  Second, if the county has more than the “threshold amount” left remaining in the undesignated ending balance in the white goods section of the AFIR for the fiscal year, the county is ineligible to receive further tax proceeds.  A county’s threshold amount is calculated by multiplying what the county received/would have received in tax proceeds during the preceding fiscal year by 25 percent. 

The county may regain eligibility by completing and submitting the AFIR and/or designating the undesignated funds towards the management of white goods in the county’s ledger.  Once this is done, a signed letter from the county finance officer is sent to the Solid Waste Section stating that the amount of undesignated funds has fallen below the threshold amount.  The Solid Waste Section then notifies the Department of Revenue, which resumes revenue distributions to the county.  The letter or AFIR from the county must be received by the Solid Waste Section no less than 30 days prior to the next distribution to receive funds for that fiscal quarter.

White Goods Grants to Counties

The Division of Waste Management - Solid Waste Section no longer offers white goods grants to counties.

Cycle of Events

White goods tax distributions are issued from the North Carolina Department of Revenue about 45 days after the end of the fiscal quarter - February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15.

January 15  Deadline for counties to submit their letters or AFIRs and be removed from the list of ineligible counties as required in NCGS 130A-309.

February 15  White goods tax distributions issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue to counties.

March 1  Solid Waste Section reports to the North Carolina Department of Revenue the list of ineligible counties as required in NCGS 130A-309.

April 15  Deadline for counties to submit their letters or AFIRs and be removed from the list of ineligible counties as required in NCGS 130A-309.

May 15  White goods tax distributions from the North Carolina Department of Revenue issued to counties. 

July 15  Deadline for counties to submit their letters or AFIRs and be removed from the list of ineligible counties as required in NCGS 130A-309.

August 15  White goods tax distributions issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue to counties.

October 15  Deadline for counties to submit their letters or AFIRs and be removed from the list of ineligible counties as required in NCGS 130A-309.

November 15  White goods tax distributions issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue to counties.

November 1  Deadline for AFIR reports from counties to Local Government Commission.

Contact Information: John.Patrone@ncdenr.gov 
Mailing address: Division of Waste Management, Attn: John Patrone, 1646 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1646

Associated Files