Almost halfway there: New York becomes 23rd state to adopt e-waste recycling law

If you live in New York state and have neglected your spring cleaning, you may want to hold onto your old electronics doo-dads a bit longer: Your state just passed what some are calling the "most progressive" electronics waste recycling law in the country.

If you live in New York state and have neglected your spring cleaning, you may want to hold onto your old electronics doo-dads a bit longer: Your state just passed what some are calling the "most progressive" electronics waste recycling law in the country.

There are a couple of things that make this law unique (New York obviously learned from other progressive states on this matter, including Washington and Minnesota:

  • Technology manufacturers will be required to reuse a certain amount of electronic waste each year. The amount that they have to reuse will be based on market share.
  • Manufacturers that collect more stuff than they have to, will get recycling "credits" for doing so. If a manufacturer doesn't reach its quota, it faces fines.
  • Consumers have five years to get used to this idea: After Jan. 15, 2015, they will be prohibited from dumping computers, printers, televisions, DVD players, MP3 players and such into landfills. Big appliances such as refrigerators or microwaves, however, are exempt.

Here's what Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer Kate Sinding had to say about the law, which kicks in on April 11, 2010:

"[New York's] approach not only gets these dangerous products out of our landfills and incinerators where they can contaminate the water and air, it also removes the burden of this fastest-growing part of the waste stream from municipalities and taxpayers. Equally importantly, by shifting the costs of end-of-life waste management to the manufacturers, it encourages them to design products in the first instance that are easier -- and hence cheaper -- to recycle in the first place. Ultimately, this should result in products that have fewer toxic components, and more reusable and recyclable components, requiring less of virgin materials."

This law basically nullifies out a lawsuit between the industry and New York City. This was the last article I did about the situation.

Not clear how all of the manufacturers feel about this new law, because it does put a lot of the onus on the manufacturers, but here's a blog that Dell wrote about the topic of PC recycling earlier this week.