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HHM Retailer Permits & Consumer Education Program

Iowa law requires retailers that sell HHMs to obtain an annual permit and participate in a consumer education program. This permit carries a $25 fee and is renewable annually on July 1.

Permit applications can be accessed at the Iowa Department of Revenue website.

About the Consumer Education Requirement:

  • Retailers must post an informational HHM sign in stores and have informational brochures available to customers.
  • Retailers that sell motor oil or oil filters must accept used motor oil or oil filters for recycling or reuse from customers OR retailers may post the nearest location where used motor oil or oil filters are collected for recycling or reuse.
  • Retailers that sell automotive lead acid batteries must accept the lead acid battery being replaced.

Retailers that sell Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions or computer monitors may voluntarily choose to accept CRTs for reuse and recycling or post a DNR-provided sign with the nearest location were CRTs are collected for recycling or reuse.

Retailer signs and consumer information materials are available free of charge from the DNR. Download the materials  below, use the online request form or request them by mail:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Attn: Retailers Consumer Education Program
502 E. 9th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034

HHM Consumer Information Materials:

How do I know if what I sell is a HHM?
If you are not sure if the product you sell is a HHM, read the label. All hazardous product labels contain Globally Harmonized System (GHS) signal words used by EPA to designate hazardous materials: Caution, Warning, Danger or Toxic. Additional information can be found on the What are HHMs? page.

Go to the Proper HHM Disposal page for a reference list of common HHM products. This reference list is not intended to identify all HHM products but simply to demonstrate the types of products considered to be HHMs.

Why does it say “voluntary” under the CRT sign?
Retailers selling CRTs are not required by Iowa law to accept used CRTs for recycling and reuse. However, retailers may voluntarily accept used CRTs for recycling and reuse or post a sign which describes the hazardous nature of CRTs and indicates where consumers can take used CRTs for recycling and reuse.

I sell HHMs but I sell them door-to-door. I’m not really a retailer; do I still need a permit?
Yes. You are considered an independent contractor and an HHM permit is required. The company you work for may apply for a single permit on behalf of all independent contractors in lieu of individual permits. If your company does not obtain a permit to cover its agents, the requirement of obtaining an HHM permit is your responsibility.

If gross retail sales (in state) are three million dollars ($3,000,000) or more for a company, an additional special permit fee of one hundred dollars ($100) for each subsequent increment of three million dollars ($3,000,000) of gross retail sales in the state up to a maximum permit fee of three thousand dollars ($3,000) is required.

What if my business sells via direct mail or over the internet and I have no inventory at my location?
If you are selling HHMs to consumers in the state of Iowa and collecting Iowa sales taxes on those transactions, you are required to obtain a permit. You may comply with the consumer information requirements by posting the required sign on your website and including an educational brochure with your shipping materials.

What if I only sell a small amount of HHM products?
The amount of HHMs does not matter, nor does the price that you charge. If a HHM product leaves your place of business with a customer, then a permit is required to conduct that transaction.

Contact Us
If you have a question about the HHM Retailers Consumer Education Program, contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at 515-281-5918.

Please contact the Iowa Department of Revenue at 515-281-3114 for questions regarding:

  • Obtaining a new HHM permit
  • Permit fees
  • Business address or name change
  • Canceling a permit

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