Monday, February 29, 2016

New York State to cover county and municipal e-waste recycling costs

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced plans to reimburse counties for 50% of e-waste recycling costs up to $2 million per municipality:
Lawmakers heard that the state's 2010 e-waste law was fundamentally flawed because it vastly underestimated the amount of obsolete cathode ray tubes that people
would discard as they bought new flat screens. The problem, which first became apparent several years ago, got worse after January 2015 when state law banned the disposal of electronic waste in municipal landfills.

The law requires electronics manufacturers to support e-waste recycling only to specific annual weight-based goals determined by each manufacturer's current share of market sales. However, the heavy CRT tubes, which contain hazardous leaded glass, are much heavier than modern equipment and push weight totals of reclaimed material well above the recycling goals. By law the manufacturers are not responsible to pay for the excess.

CRTs have no recycling value and cost money to dispose of, so the financial burden is being shifted to local recycling programs. The problem could continue for years because there are still a lot of CRT tubes yet to be turned in....

The state is poised to partially fund local recycling programs to lessen the sting, said Eugene Leff, deputy commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation.