A federal judge dismissed a suit that had been brought by the electronics industry against New York City’s new e-waste recycling initiative, according to reports.
The suit had been brought against the city by Panasonic, LG Electronics, Sony and Samsung, which argued the new recycling law would have imposed undue burdens on electronics companies to comply with the recycling initiative even if they only had minimal presence in the city. The consortium of manufacturers had said the law could end up costing them as much as $200 million a year.
A new statewide law passed in May preempted the New York City law, which the judge ruled made the lawsuit against the city moot, according to the report. Like the city law, the new statewide lawsuit will hold manufacturers liable for shouldering the costs of collecting and recycling electronic waste from consumers.
The parties in the case had been holding voluntary negotiations to discuss plans to collect and recycle the city’s e-waste, which both sides said the plan to continue in the wake of the dismissal of the suit.
The city initiative became law in 2008 and was scheduled to take effect in the second half of 2009 when the industry requested an injunction. The new state law will go into effect in April 2011.
According to the new state law, manufacturers must pay $5,000 to register with the program, and an additional $3,000 each year in reporting fees to report to the state how much material they have recycled. The bill does allow manufacturers to charge a fee to businesses with more than 50 employees or non-profit organizations with more than 75. Manufacturers will be required to meet collection goals and provide convenient collection.
The industry has been fighting against similar attempts by other states to mandate electronics recycling. The Electronics Takeback Coalition has created a map outlining electronic recycling laws in various states. Connecticut became the most recent state to tackle the issue of reducing e-waste contributions to its landfills.