Beginning Jan. 1, 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, passed in 2010. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) has written a letter to Department of Sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia to urge that the agency’s new e-cycle NYC electronics recycling program be adjusted to serve seniors and people with disabilities. Currently, the program does not serve 1-2 family households, with no exceptions for seniors or people with disabilities.
Under the program, established in conjunction with Electronic Recyclers International with funding from electronics manufacturers, NYC apartment buildings containing 10 or more units can sign up for a free and convenient service to pick up and recycle unwanted electronics. Buildings of 50 or more units can arrange for the installation of storage bins to collect electronics for recycling, and buildings of 250 units or more can schedule on-site recycling events with the Department of Sanitation. While the idea is to make recycling of electronics as easy as possible in apartment buildings where transporting large electronics to drop-off events can be difficult, the e-cycle NYC program does not provide services for 1-2 family homes.
As Assemblyman Goldfeder noted, “Southern Queens and Rockaway has one of the largest senior populations in the city, with many living in 1-2 family households currently excluded from the Sanitation Department’s e-cycleNYC electronics recycling program. I urge the city to include seniors and people with disabilities in the program, regardless of household size, and not put our families at risk of injuring for trying to follow the law.”
The NY State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act law bans curbside disposal of 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 this week could face fines of up to $100 per offense. 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