NYC trashes e-waste

Recycling of old computers, printers, and other electronic products will soon become mandatory in New York City, according to this New York Times article.

The City Council passed a bill that will fine $100 on anyone who throws away their e-waste in the trash starting in 2010. Manufacturers are also required to take back their products and start collecting old electronics for recycling in 2009, as well as products of other companies starting 2011, or else face a fine of $2,000.

By 2012, manufacturers have to collect their customers’ e-waste equivalent to 25% of the average weight of the goods they sold between 2009 and 2012. The minimum amount will increase to 45% in 2015 and top to 65% in 2018. A $50,000 fine will be imposed if they do not meet the percentage point standards.

The Council is expected to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto and if passed into law, New York will be the first US city with e-cycling law that focuses mostly on manufacturers, the Times said. Manufacturers, of course, are in protests.

It is estimated that New Yorkers purchase more than 90,000 tons/year of electronic products. E-waste are said to be the source of toxic chemicals and metals accumulating in landfills.

Manufacturers currently have their own voluntary recycling programs but the bill, if passed and caught on by other major cities, could force them to expand their recycling capabilities much quicker than anticipated.

I hope they will not resort to shipping their e-waste to other countries such as China and in Ghana

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