Beginning in January 2015, it will be unlawful to use curbside trash collection as a means to dispose of certain electronic equipment by any individual or household. This is the third and final phase of the NY State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act law, governing annual statewide recycling starting in 2011.
The law covers electronic items including but not limited to: computers, e-readers, televisions, printers, VCRs, DVRs, DVD players, video game consoles, and portable MP3 players. Those who violate the e-waste disposal rules that become effective Jan. 1 could face fines of up to $100 per offense.
In addition, the law requires manufacturers of covered equipment to collect and recycle or reuse their brands of products from residents and small businesses, free of charge to consumers. A number of retailers and community organizations work with manufacturers to accept electronics or voluntarily offer their own recycling programs for a wide range of electronics. The NYC Department of Sanitation, with Electronic Recyclers International, is also launching e-cycleNYC, with funding from electronics manufacturers. This is an innovative new program through which NYC apartment buildings containing 10 or more units can sign up for a free and convenient service to pick up and recycle unwanted electronics.
Retail drop-off programs allow residents to bring e-waste to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Best Buy, and other locations, and some offer free mailback service and/or pickup service, which may involve a fee.
For a full list of participating take-back programs, along with complete details about the law and a list of covered equipment, visit www.nyc.gov/electronics.
By Eugénie Bisulco