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NY Passes E-Waste Law, Manufacturers Get Ready To Pay

The New York State legislature passed a new electronics recycling law on Friday over unified Republican opposition, according to a report in the Albany Business Journal.

The new bill attempts to limit the growth of hazardous waste in New York landfills by requiring manufacturers to accept used electronics from consumers. 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.

The state legislation would trump New York City’s e-waste recycling program, which has been challenged by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). Panasonic, LG Electronics, Sony and Samsung have objected to the New York City law, arguing that requiring companies to collect used equipment from the homes of consumers in city’s in which they may only have a minimal presence imposes an undue burden. The group has estimated the program will cost companies over $200 million a year.

This is despite the fact that many electronics manufacturers are actually expanding their own recycling initiatives. Panasonic itself expanded its Nationwide Recycling Program, with 30 additional drop-off sites in the Southeastern United States including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Several of the companies supporting the CEA challenge are also part of the Electronics Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM), which seeks to improve cooperation between its members to make recycling more convenient.

New York City has also launched a textile recycling program which has so far proven significantly less controversial. The city is currently looking for contractors to bid on a 10 year contract to establish 250 collection sites for used clothing, which could result in over 2,500 tons of textiles being recycled every year in what a New York Times article described as the first large scale effort of its kind in the nation.

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6 thoughts on “NY Passes E-Waste Law, Manufacturers Get Ready To Pay

  1. This will be a money hit to manufacturers in the short term, but if they work it out they will likely save money once they develop comprehensive take-back systems and re-use of the reclaimed resources in their own manufacturing chain. That is the end goal of legislation such as this and folding the “waste” back into processes will ultimately save money, save resources, save the planet and possibly even save some manufacturing companies. This can be opportunity for local manufacturing once again. The learning curve is tough, but necessary and companies need to spend less time figuring out “how to duck it” and more time working to meet the needs and goals.

  2. Many such laws have been in force for years in Western Europe – looked at that way, you could argue these manufacturers had a free ride in the US. These laws become truly interesting once they differentiate costs due to the degree of ‘hazardousness’ in the electronics themselves. So that we incentivise less and less toxic production. In addition, I would argue that since sources of many of the rare earth metals the electronics require to operate are not only scarce, but largely dominated by China which has already stated they do not want to sell them to foreign manufacturers, electronics manufacturers hsould welcome the ability to get the metals back through recycling.

  3. For all of you that think this law requires the manufacturers to RECYCLE your electronics, your under the dillusiton from the manufactuers. YES the law says they must collect them, but find anywhere in the bill that defines recycle. Does recycle mean 100% of the weight of what they pick up, or does it mean zero percent? Does it mean 25% or 75% of the weight is recycled. In fact the word recycle means to most of us that from that weight it is used to produce a new consumer product. That product diverts oil from having to be used to make new plastics perhaps.

    Across the country, in every state, and every province with enacted laws, only about 25% of the weight of your computer will be turned into a new consumer product (recycled). The other 75% of the weight is shredded to mincemeat burned in the green house gas CO2.

    SO WHEN ANY MANUFACTURER TELLS YOU YOUR COMPUTER OR TV or monitor will be recycled, ALWAYS ASK INTO WHAT??? and you will get a strange look from the manufacturer. All manufacturers are doing is paying to DISPOSE of, BUT NOT RECYCLE.


  4. Your publication has completely confused two separate sections of the overall budget package that the state just enacted. The fees that certain legislators and the NYS Business Council opposed are completely unrelated to the electronics recycling provision. The fees are on in-state generators of hazardous waste and have nothing to do with the electronics recycling provision – both sections just happened to be included in the same budget bill designed to raise revenue to re-open state parks. Furthermore, the new law does NOT require manufacturers to “collect the electronics from consumers’ doorsteps at no charge.” Environmental Leader should post a correction for this entire article and pay more atention to getting your facts straight for once. As for the comment that household electronics contain rare earth metals, this too is incorrect. These metals are primarily used in the space and defense industries, and also for electric motors in hybrid cars and in wind turbines.

  5. I guess Ron doesn’t read. The law clearly states that by 2011 e-waste can not be placed into a solid waste or hazardous waste landfill (page 18).

  6. The law is on a rolling basis and over the next few years the recycling requirements will kick in and by 2012, disposal of certain e-waste in municipal waste and sanitary landfills and at incinerators will be prohibited. The E-Waste Act only applies to electronic equipment taken out of use from residences, but it affects many of the businesses involved in the stream of electronic commerce. There is a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each day of violation. Can you believe that.

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