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New York Mayor de Blasio has expanded a successful curbside electronic waste collection program started on Staten Island to other boroughs of the city beginning this fall.
“Since the e-waste pilot on Staten Island was such a success, we’re expanding it to a lot more New Yorkers.” said Mayor de Blasio.

“It’s so important to our zero waste goals to recycle everything we can, including electronics – but we also need to make it easier for our residents to do so, and that’s what this program is all about.”

“We are proud to have worked with Council Member Matteo to bring the pilot curbside electronic waste collection program to Staten Island, and we are thrilled with the support we received from Staten Island residents. Based on this support, we have worked to make this a permanent program, and to expand the coverage areas to make it available to more and more residents in the months and years to come,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

“Curbside e-waste collection is a crucial way to ensure that these potentially hazardous items are properly disposed of and potentially recycled. I want to thank DSNY and my colleague Council Member Steven Matteo of Staten Island for working together to develop this program, and now for expanding it to the other boroughs. Curbside e-waste collection will help New Yorkers who don’t have their own vehicles, are elderly, or otherwise are unable to bring their items to a collection site to avoid fines as well. I look forward to seeing this program expand throughout the city,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

Last April, as part of the FY 2017 Executive Budget and in response to growing concerns from New Yorkers about the lack of convenience of electronics recycling programs, the Mayor announced that the Department of Sanitation would launch a one-year pilot program to collect electronic waste at the curb from residents of Staten Island. That program began in October 2016 and has been overwhelmingly successful.

In the first six months of the program (Oct. 2016 – March 2017):

•Staten Islanders scheduled 6,036 appointments for e-waste collection by calling 311 or going to nyc.gov/electronics.
•Through the program, DSNY has collected 10,912 electronic items, diverting more than 400,000 pounds of electronic waste from landfills.

Now, based on the success of the pilot on Staten Island, the program will be made permanent and expanded to the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens over the next three years. The expansion will start in North Brooklyn (CBs 1-5, 8-9, 16-17) this fall and will continue in FY19 and FY20.

Electronics often contain valuable materials, like gold and copper, as well as harmful materials, including lead, mercury and cadmium. Recycling electronic waste not only keeps these toxins from polluting the air, soil, and water, it also reduces energy and water use associated with manufacturing new materials. In January 2015, the New York State law banning the disposal of electronic waste took effect, barring the City from collecting these materials as refuse.

How E-Waste Collection Works

Residents of 1-9 unit buildings can make appointments at nyc.gov/electronics or calling 311. Residents select an available appointment slot and indicate the number and type of electronic items they want collected. Up to 20 items can be recycled per appointment. Residents must place all items on their curb line the evening before their confirmed collection day. While certified specialists will erase computer hard drives after collection, it is highly recommended residents remove all private information from electronic items before pickup. Up to 40 appointments will be available in each collection zone per day and appointments can be made up to two weeks in advance.

Sanitation workers collect these items in a specialized truck and bring them to a central facility for consolidation. Once enough electronic items have been collected, the city’s electronics recycling vendor transports the material to a regional recycling facility for proper recycling.

E-Waste Collection for Apartment Buildings

Since 2013, the e-cycleNYC program has offered residents of apartment buildings with 10 or more units convenient, in-building collection of electronic waste. Buildings interested in enrolling have their electronics collected either with a collection bin or in a storage area. Residents place their unwanted electronics in the bin. When the bin is full, the material is collected and then recycled. The program is a public-private partnership between the Department and ERI; it is fully funded by electronics manufacturers and is free to taxpayers and participating buildings.

New Yorkers can also donate working electronics through DonateNYC (www.nyc.gov/donate) and can recycle unwanted electronics at household hazardous waste drop-off sites and SAFE Disposal events in all five boroughs.

Published in the November 2017 Edition of American Recycler News