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 purpose of the program is to discourage the illegal disposal of white goods and to recycle refrigerant gasses. G.S. 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 taxes on the sale of white goods and the funds are redistributed back to the counties. As stated in G.S. 130A-309.83 – “The White Goods Management Account is established within the Department. The account consists of revenue credited to the account from the proceeds of the white goods disposal tax imposed by Article 5C of Chapter 105 of the General Statues.” The amount of the tax is $3 per white good. It is collected at the retail level.

All white goods grants and revenue a county receives are to be spent on white goods activities. By General Statute (G.S. 130A-309.83) the county must spend its white goods money only for the management of white goods. This can be done in any combination of three ways:

(1) Daily operating expenses 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 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 percent of use and only apply the estimated amount to white goods.

(3) Clean-up of illegal dumps The county must estimate the amount of white goods in the illegal dump. If the estimated amount is 50% or greater, the entire dump may be paid for with white goods money. If the dump is estimated at less than 50%, only that portion may be paid for with white goods money. Please contact the Waste Management Specialist before initiating clean up activities.


Some counties are ineligible to receive their tax distributions and grant monies but can regain eligibility by designating funds and submitting their Annual Fiscal 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 1st results in a county becoming ineligible to receive grants and further tax distributions. Second, if the county has more than the “threshold amount” left remaining in the undesignated ending balance (Line No. 223B) in the white goods section of the Annual Fiscal Information Report (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 would have received in tax proceeds for the fiscal year by 25%. Adding together the tax distributions from all four fiscal quarters and dividing by four can also calculate this amount.

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 director is sent to our section stating that the amount of undesignated funds has fallen below the threshold amount. The Solid Waste Section then notifies the Dept. of Revenue, which resumes revenue distributions to the county. At least thirty days are allowed before the end of the fiscal quarter for the Solid Waste Section to receive the letter or AFIR for the county to receive the funds for that fiscal quarter.  Note that a county must submit it's AFIRand have less than the threshold amount remaining in the undesignated ending balance to be eligible.

White Goods Grants to Counties

There are grants available from the Solid Waste Section to pay for daily operating expenses, capital improvements, and clean up of illegal white goods disposal sites.

Capital Improvement Grants are made to counties to purchase infrastructure and equipment. After construction is completed or equipment is purchased, the funds are disbursed. Counties may apply for these grants at any time and “reserve” these funds for reimbursement after the project is complete. Capital Improvement grant decisions are made upon receiving from a county:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. Copies of any bids, estimates, invoices, or receipts.
  3. A working sketch and site plan of the planned infrastructure (if applicable) and/or a photocopy of a brochure or detailed description of any equipment to be purchased.
  4. A brief letter of justification stating how a county’s white goods program will be improved or benefited through the grant.
  5. A plan on how the county plans to capture and dispose of refrigerant gasses.

Cost Overrun Grants are made to counties for costs associated with daily operating expenses where the county runs a deficit in its budget for the management of white goods. These grants are awarded biannually from January to June (application deadline September 15th) and July to December (application deadline March 15th). To apply:

  1. The county must fill out and send a completed cost overrun grant application form during the period that such requests are accepted.
  2. Submit any necessary documentation to support the county’s request.

 A county must be eligible for funding to apply for a cost overrun grant or a capital improvement grant. Moneys for cost overrun grants are limited and not always available. Counties should not rely on cost overrun grants to meet daily operating expenses.

 White Goods Cost Overrun Grants- Cycle of Events

White goods cost overrun grants are awarded biannually. One cycle runs from January-June the other runs from July-December. White goods tax distributions are issued from the NC Dept. of Revenue about 45 days after the end of the fiscal quarter- February 15thMay 15thAugust 15th and November 15th. Counties may submit their grant applications as soon as they wish after the annoucement for the grant period is sent but before the deadline.

January 15th- White goods  cost overrun grants announcement sent out to counties for July-December time period.

February 15th - White goods tax distributions issued by the NC Dept. of Revenue to counties.

February 15th - March 15th - Grant applications accepted for July-December  cost overrun grants cycle.

March1st - Solid Waste Section reports to NC Dept. of Revenue the list of ineligible counties as required in G.S.130A-309.

March 15th - Deadline for grant applications for July-December cost overrun grants cycle.

May 15th - White goods tax distributions from the NC Dept. of Revenue are issued to counties. 

May31st - White goods grants awarded for July-December cost overrun grants cycle.

July 15th - White goods grants announcement sent out to counties for January-June time period.

August 15th - White goods tax distributions issued by the NC Dept. of Revenue to counties.

August 15th-September 15th   -  Cost overrun grant applications accepted for January-June grant cycle.

September 15th- Deadline for grant applications for January-June cost overrun grants cycle.

October 31st - White goods cost overrun grants awarded for the January-June time period. 

November 15th-White goods  tax distributions issued by the NC Dept. of Revenue to counties.

December 1st- Deadline for AFIR reports from counties to Local Government Commission.

Contact Information and completed grant applications should be sent to: Bill Patrakis, Solid Waste Section, Fax:919-707-8290 or Email: william.patrakis@ncdenr.gov 
Mailing address: Division of Waste Management, Attn: Bill Patrakis, 1646 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1646