New York's Second E-Waste Recycling Program Report Highlights Success of Efforts from 2013 - 2015
State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act has driven the collection and recycling of more than 520 million pounds-or 260,000 tons-of electronic waste (e-waste) from 2011 to 2016. The announcement was highlighted in DEC's second Electronic Waste Recycling Report, which documents e-waste recycling from 2013 to 2015, and outlines the strengths and challenges of the State's e-waste recycling program.
Commissioner Seggos said, "Over the first six years of the program, New York State has successfully diverted hundreds of millions of pounds of e-waste destined for landfills and combustion facilities to e-waste recyclers for reuse and recycling, helping conserve valuable natural resources. The e-waste report will help DEC improve New York's strong e-waste recycling program, and the documented progress of this comprehensive product stewardship program is yet another example of Governor Cuomo's commitment to protecting our environment."
The e-waste recycling report for 2013-2015 builds on data in the first report and includes information on overall collection results, collection methods, recycling and reuse rates, stakeholder participation, fees and surcharges, as well as DEC's compliance and enforcement efforts. The report also notes continued opportunities for business development, as a number of businesses have been launched or expanded as a result of the recycling/reuse of e-waste. The e-waste reports are available on DEC's website.
From 2013 through 2015, electronic equipment manufacturers, consumers, and the state's collection and recycling network successfully diverted nearly 300 million pounds of e-waste from the waste stream, which equates to a statewide collection rate averaging just over 5 pounds per capita.
DEC continues its efforts to address challenges associated with e-waste collection and recycling, particularly Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions and monitors by working with municipalities, industry representatives, recyclers, and others to improve CRT collection and recycling. In addition, while striving for overall stakeholder compliance, DEC is working to improve manufacturers' e-waste acceptance programs and continues public education and outreach, as well as enforcement, to ensure manufacturers are in compliance with the act's requirements.
To help municipalities implement e-waste recycling over the short term, New York has made $3 million in grant funding from the State's Environmental Protection Fund available to help municipalities across the state address the unintended costs associated with the collection and recycling of eligible e-waste. DEC is distributing nearly $1.2 million in grant funding to municipalities from the first two rounds of grant applications. Applications for the third and final round of available grant money are due to DEC by January 31, 2018, for expenses incurred between April 1 and December 31, 2017. Information regarding grants for municipal e-waste assistance can be found on the DEC website.
DEC is also developing draft regulations to clarify and strengthen provisions of the Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act and will release draft regulations early next year. Information about the proposed e-waste regulations will be available on DEC's website and published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin.
Senator Tom O'Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "Actions to better address the challenge of electronic waste are among the most important actions we've ever taken in New York government for the benefit of local economies, environments, and taxpayers."
E-waste recycling has become extremely burdensome and costly for local governments and property taxpayers. Through the Environmental Protection Fund's emphasis on e-waste and by implementing new policies, programs, and regulatory reforms over the past several years, New York State has taken some very effective steps. I look forward to continue working with and urging Governor Cuomo and his administration on short- and long-term strategies which make important fiscal, economic, and environmental sense locally, regionally, and statewide."
With the holiday season underway, DEC reminds consumers that it is illegal to dispose of old, unwanted televisions and other electronic equipment in the trash. Examples of electronic equipment that must be recycled include computers, printers, monitors, televisions and tablets. Manufacturers are required to provide consumers with free and convenient e-waste recycling opportunities. These opportunities include mail back, local collection events, permanent collection drop-off locations and free at-home pickup, depending on the manufacturer's program. For information on Recycling Consumer Electronic Waste, please visit the DEC website.