Electronic Recycling Gets Political

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New York City Council recently passed a new electronic recycling bill. Mayor Bloomberg called it "illegal" and threatened to veto or simply ignore the bill if it becomes law. Councilmember Bill de Blasio (District 39 - D), co-sponsor of the bill, and Robert Lang, director of Waste Provention, Reuse, and Recycling for New York City Department of Sanitation, discuss the controversy.


Bill de Blasio and Robert Lang

Comments [10]

Fly by Night from Ground Zero

The city desparately needs the same kind of regularly scheduled frequent recycling for electronics that we have for paper and other materials. Many items are to large and heavy to transport further than our curbs (big old TVs and monitors for example). It is unrealistic to expect everyone to be able to schlep this stuff on public transportation to the quarterly electrconics recycling events we are lucky to even find out about in time.

High ticket items may be handled by manufacturers but most items (smaller peripherals and electronic appliances) are unlikely to be worth the transportation costs - if you can even find the manufacturer by the time they break down and are replaced.

Feb. 23 2008 01:42 AM
Jackie from Brooklyn

Great segment.

Feb. 21 2008 11:38 AM
Kate Sinding from Manhattan

The Natural Resources Defense Council (at which I am a senior attorney) has worked very closely with the City Council on the groundbreaking electronic waste law it just overwhelmingly passed. We were extremely gratified to hear the Sanitation Department clarify the administration's position as being supportive of the "producer responsibility" model that underlies the law. But the Department is wrong in asserting that there is any legal issue associated with the specific performance standards contained in the law. All sides remain very hopeful that a compromise can be accomplished, but should that not occur, the Council will be in excellent stead to defend the legality of this important law and compel its implementation. The time is now to get these toxic products out of our waste stream and to shift the cost of dealing with their disposal from the city's taxpayers to the manufacturers that produce them.

Feb. 21 2008 10:50 AM
marcos from manhattan

portland has a great way to handle this issue of computer recycling. it is called free geek. a not for profit that accepts old computers, refurbishes the ones that can be and sells them back to the public for penny's on the dollar.they have a drop off area and people just leave the computers, day or night.

Feb. 21 2008 10:37 AM
hjs from 11211

if manufacturers had to recycle they would design a greener product

Feb. 21 2008 10:33 AM
John from Staten Island

The Department of Sanitation does a poor job of communicating these days for Electronics Recycling. Twice a year is not enough. Even the other recycling events aren't publicized enough and implemented poorly (ie Leaf Collection/Recycling).

Feb. 21 2008 10:32 AM
FSussman from Queens

It's not easy to find a place to take your used electronics to. I have 2 computers in my closet which I'm trying to dispose of.

Feb. 21 2008 10:31 AM


Feb. 21 2008 10:30 AM

This (putting onus on manufacturer rather than the consumer/city/distributor) would also force the manufacturer to dramatically up their relations with actual distributors -- or buy them.

It gives, for example, the Chinese manufacturers of the tools to purchase Home Depot. Same with Sony and Circuit City.

This would make it easier for US citizens/govt to put pressure on the makers to capture more of the true cost of their products, ie the environmental costs.

This conversation honors the concept of "transparency" for consumers and taxpayers.

Feb. 21 2008 10:27 AM
Hugh from Park Slope

Regarding the City Council's proposed electronics recycling legislation:

Has Mayor Bloomberg issued a preemptive "signing statement" saying he'll ignore the law, if passed?

Can he do that legally?

Feb. 21 2008 10:25 AM

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