Electronics recycler ERI partnered with the City of New York’s Department of Sanitation to develop e-cycleNYC, a program for recycling e-waste in the city. The program is a combination of citywide events, residential drop- off programs, and collection from residents living in high-rise buildings. Serviced using “milk run” pickups, buildings either receive an e-cycleNYC bin or consolidate material on their own. The program is voluntary and any NYC residential building with over 10 units can enroll in the program as an option for its residents.
The Department of Sanitation released a procurement, which ERI was awarded. This procurement required a responsible recycler who had existing relationships with manufacturers. ERI worked with the City to plan for and develop the program. The planning process included research on the city’s building mix, focus groups to determine the building staff needs, and the development of a proprietary bin custom designed for the program.
The responsibilities of the program were developed in a method to share the burden, giving the Department of Sanitation the lead in enrolling new buildings while ERI focused on logistics and collection. ERI opened a new facility in New Jersey to enable collections for this program.
Over 50% of the population in New York City has no access to vehicles. An equal number of people live in high- rise buildings. Through its partnership with the city, the program enables the high level of participation that is crucial to efficient routing, according to ERI.
The e-cycleNYC program is the first program of its kind in the world, according to ERI. It is a public-private partnership with ERI, the City of New York, manufacturers, individual high-rise buildings, and management companies. The program was endorsed by the Real Estate Board of New York, representing NYC’s property owners and 32BJ SEIU, the largest property services workers union in the country. According to ERI’s 2016 statistics on the program, nearly 2 million New Yorkers were served by the program that year and there were almost 4,500 pickups. The city reported that e-cycleNYC electronics collections diverted 7.2 tons of electronic waste per day in 2016.