I am pleased to announce that, thanks to a new law I supported, New Yorkers will now be able to recycle unwanted, out-of-date and otherwise unusable electronic equipment instead of just discarding it and adding to the mass of junked electronics, which represents one of our nation's fastest-growing waste accumulations. Under the law, by April 1, 2011 manufacturers that sell electronic equipment in our state must create a free and convenient electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program that will accept televisions, VCRs, MP3 and DVD players, fax machines, printers, computers, monitors, keyboards, game consoles and the like. Additionally, it will be illegal for individuals to dispose of electronic waste at landfills as of Jan. 1, 2015.
While recycling plastic, paper and glass has become almost second nature to most of us, estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that the national e-waste recycling rate is a mere 13 percent.
We in Albany have watched and waited as bills mandating e-waste recycling were introduced repeatedly in Congress, but as none passed, the time came to address the matter ourselves. With the enactment of this law, New York joins 22 states with similar mandates and as a New York State representative, I am pleased that we are taking this important step forward in protecting our environment.