Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh
Brian Kavanagh

Dear Friend,

This pamphlet will give you important information about the new law concerning electronic waste, including proper, environmentally responsible disposal options. As always, if I can be of help in this or any other matter, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Brian Kavanagh
Member of Assembly

237 First Avenue, Suite 407, New York, NY 10003 • 212-979-9696
Room 419 LOB, Albany, NY 12248 • 518-455-5506

Why should I be concerned about my e-waste?
E-waste contains hazardous elements and compounds that can be toxic if released into the environment. Common offenders include the lead found in circuit boards, CRT monitors and televisions, and the mercury found in computer switches and relays. It’s important that these materials be managed properly. Cadmium, nickel, zinc and brominated flame retardants are also problematic. Disposing of e-waste carefully will help prevent the release of toxic chemicals into the environment. In addition, by decreasing the amount of waste to be disposed of and ensuring proper disposal, municipalities and taxpayers will save money and limited landfill capacity will be saved.

What can I do with my e-waste?
Thanks to the state’s Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act of 2010, getting rid of your electronic waste is easier than ever. Beginning April 1, 2011, manufacturers are required to set up a free, convenient system for the collection, handling and recycling or reuse of certain electronic waste, including:
  • Computers

  • Televisions (as well as Cathode Ray Tubes)

  • Small scale servers

  • Computer peripherals*

    • Monitors
    • Electronic keyboards
    • Electronic mice or similar pointing devices
    • Facsimile machines**
    • Document scanners**
    • Printers**
  • Small electronic equipment*

    • VCRs
    • Digital video recorders
    • Portable digital music players
    • DVD players
    • Digital converter boxes
    • Cable or satellite receivers
    • Electronic or video game consoles

* Computer peripherals and small electronic equipment also include any cable, cord or wiring permanently affixed to or incorporated into such product.

** Only those intended for use with a computer and weighing less than 100 lbs.

What if I want to recycle e-waste that is not covered by the new law?

Locations where covered electronic equipment is accepted for recycling or reuse might accept other electronic equipment, possibly for a fee. The following options may also be available:

Municipal collection programs: Recycling opportunities for household consumers vary by municipality, with some municipalities offering household hazardous waste (HHW) collections programs that accept electronic equipment. Some transfer stations also collect electronic equipment for recycling. Please check with your municipality for more information on recycling electronic equipment not covered by the new law.

Commercial dismantler/recyclers: Consumers can check with a commercial dismantler/recycler in their area to see if the facility accepts the type of electronic equipment they wish to recycle.

What about old cell phones?

Since 2007, the New York State Wireless Recycling Act has required all wireless telephone service providers that offer phones for sale to accept cell phones for reuse or recycling. The law requires retailers to accept up to 10 cell phones per person during normal business hours or

provide free shipping for these phones. Recycling information should be available at business locations and the company website.

What should I do about personal and confidential information on my old computer?

To be safe, consumers should remove all personal and confidential data on their electronic equipment before sending it for recycling or reuse.

Am I required to recycle e-waste?

Manufacturer e-waste acceptance programs will be available for consumers to recycle their e-waste beginning April 1, 2011.

Beginning January 2012, businesses and municipalities, including your waste collection company or service, will no longer be able to dispose of any e-waste in a landfill or waste-to-energy facility.

Beginning Jan.1, 2015, individuals and households will no longer be able to dispose of any e-waste in a landfill or waste-to-energy facility, or place e-waste for collection that is intended for disposal at such types of facilities.