Even though many New Yorkers are still not aware of it, a full ban on the disposal of electronics went into effect on January 1, 2015. The grace period for avoiding fines of $100 per violation is about to end, so be sure all residents are up to date on the newest recycling regulations.
Enacted by Governor Cuomo in 2010, the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act is overseen by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The law went into effect in stages, with the final stage being the January 1, 2015 statewide ban on the disposal of electronics, except through acceptable recycling avenues.
If you live in a building of more than ten units, your property is entitled to free “room cleanout” service by the New York City Department of Sanitation, under their new “e-cycleNYC” program. These buildings can collect and store unwanted electronics and arrange for pick-up by calling 212-437-4647 or emailing e-cycleNYC@dsny.nyc.gov. Pick-up is guaranteed within five business days.
Buildings of 50 or more units will be provided with a locked storage bin in which to collect electronics for pick-up within three business days of contacting the e-cycle program. Properties with 250 or more units can contact the City to schedule e-cycleNYC events on the premises, and inform residents of when and where to bring their electronics for pick-up. According to the City’s website, data on electronic devices will be fully erased by e-cycleNYC as part of the recycling process if you live in an eligible building.
The City will pick up large electronic devices including TVs, VCRs, DVRs, DVDs, cable and satellite boxes, video game consoles, computers and peripherals such as hard drives and keyboards, printers, scanners, fax machines. They will also pick up small devices such as tablets, mobile phones, MP3 players, and iPods.
Americans dispose of about 400 million electronic devices every year, adding a huge volume along with a wide range of toxins to the waste stream. According to Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner of the NYC Sanitation Department, electronic equipment has become the fastest-growing component of the hazardous waste stream. “By recycling electronics, New Yorkers can help decrease disposal costs and protect the environment,” she said in a statement about the new law.
In addition to the e-cycleNYC pick-up programs, other recycling options for New Yorkers throughout the state include retail drop-off locations at Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Best Buy, Staples, or the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse in Brooklyn. The City also has scheduled SAFE (solvents, automotive, flammables and electronics) Disposal Events throughout the five boroughs. For 2015 dates visit bit.ly/SAFEdisposal. Visit bit.ly/stuffexchange for more information about selling or donating electronics that are still working, and bit.ly/NYCecycle for more information about the new electronics recycling regulations.