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E-Waste Recycling Law Under Scrutiny

e-wasteNew York’s state-wide e-waste recycling law is costing local governments too much money and “not working as intended,” officials said at a hearing this week on the state’s electronics recycling program.

The 2010 law requires electronics manufacturers to manage and fund programs to collect and recycle e-waste in New York. The Associated Press reports that local officials say the bulk of the cost and burden falls on municipalities — Westchester County alone expects to pay $1.2 million for e-waste removal in 2016.

A the hearing, John Strough, supervisor of the Warren County town of Queensbury, said cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from TVs and computer monitors are the main problem because they are expensive to recycle and there is no market for their components. Because of this, recycling companies now charge for CRTs.

Lawmakers also said the law is flawed because it allows manufacturers to meet their free-recycling obligation with mail-back programs.

“I find it highly unlikely that someone will send a 100-pound TV back to the manufacturer,” Strough said.

New York’s Association of Counties wants the state Department of Environmental Conservation to require manufacturers to fund year-round support for e-waste recycling collection sites, according to the AP.

Earlier this month Best Buy changed its in-store e-waste recycling program, charging customers $25 for each TV and computer monitor they recycle at its stores, because it is losing money on the program.

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