E-Waste Recycling Rates on the Rise as Consumers Banned from Disposal

First E-Waste Recycling Report Shows New York State Laws Paying Dividends

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s initial E-Waste Recycling Report, has found that over 318 million pounds of e-waste waste collected from 2011 through 2014.

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) initial E-Waste Recycling Report, has found that over 318 million pounds (144,000 metric tonnes) of e-waste waste collected from 2011 through 2014.


The report, which details the implementation success of the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, provides an evaluation of the initial progress during 2011-2012 on implementing the Act, outlining the program's strengths and challenges, and providing recommendations for future improvements.

The inaugural report for 2011-2012 establishes the baseline data collection methods DEC has developed to establish the recycling and reuse rates in the state for covered electronic equipment (CEE).

The DEC said that it highlighted initial compliance with the program and provides recommendations for changes to enhance implementation.

According to the department the NYS Electronic Recycling and Reuse Act delivered both positive environmental and economic results in 2011 and 2012.

The total amount of CEE collected by manufacturers for recycling or reuse during the 2011 reporting period (April 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011) was 44.8 million pounds (20,300 tonnes) , which equates to an approximate 2.3 pounds (1.05 kg) per capita statewide collection rate.

During calendar year 2012, the total amount of CEE collected by manufacturers for recycling or reuse increased to 77.5 million pounds (34,000 tonnes) which equates to an approximate 4 pounds (1.8 kg) per capita statewide collection rate.


The  DEC noted that the significant increase in e-waste collected for recycling or reuse from NYS consumers in 2011 and in 2012 was more than in any previous year for which records are available, and that trend has continued in recent years.

The department said that data for 2013-2014 will soon be published, and will also show that the collection rate of NYS consumers' e-waste has increased steadily since the Act became effective in 2011. Initial data shows the state collected 99.5 million pounds in 2013 and 96.7 million in 2014.



The report also noted the opportunities for business development that have been launched through the recycling or reuse of electronic equipment.

The department explained that it is addressing one of the more recent implementation challenges, which is the collection and recycling of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions and monitors.

The DEC said that it has focused initial efforts on education of manufacturers, and this year it will be stepping up enforcement to ensure full compliance with the goals of the Act.


It added that it will continue discussions with stakeholders, municipalities, industry and recyclers to develop solutions and improvements to the program to address and improve CRT recycling.

In addition, DEC continues to evaluate manufactures compliance with the Act and are drafting regulations to clarify and strengthen the provisions of the Act, and will also be providing funds to assist municipalities who have been collecting materials outside of the e-waste collection system created by the law.

As of January 1, 2015 all NYS consumers are now required to recycle electronic waste, and are prohibited from disposing of this waste. Under the Act, free and convenient recycling programs for all consumers of the state are required to be provided by electronic equipment manufactures.

"Over the first several years of implementation, New York State has successfully captured hundreds of millions of pounds of e-waste and making electronic equipment manufactures responsible for end of life costs for products covered under the Act, thereby removing this cost from municipal recycling programs," commented acting commissioner Basil Seggos.


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