This week, residents in 15 New York apartment buildings will be able to recycle their old electronics, not by taking them to drop off events or retailers, but by dropping them in a recycling bin in their building. Once the recycling bins are full, building supers can call recyclers to pick them up. The program is open to apartment buildings with more than 10 units.
According to capitolnewyork.com, Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced the program in an effort to make it easier for residents, many of whom do not have cars, to recycle their electronics.
"It’s the largest and fastest growing type of toxic material in our trash," said David Hirschler, the sanitation department's director of waste prevention.
Everyday electronics contain hazardous materials like mercury, lead and cadmium, which, when tossed into the trash like regular garbage, risk leaking into the environment. They also contain valuable, resellable material like gold.
New York recently passed an electronics recycling law that will go into effect in 2015.
California continues to lead the nation in electronic waste policy as the only state that has successfully curbed both the illegal disposal and export of the largest category toxic electronics.
California’s Electronic Waste Recovery Act created a recycling system for electronics including Computer monitors, laptop computers, portable DVD players with liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, "bare" cathode ray tubes and devices containing cathode ray tubes, and televisions with: LCD screens, plasma screens and cathode ray tubes.