New York to pass e-waste legislation
On March 26, New York may become the first city in the nation to require electronics manufacturers to take their products back from residents who want to dispose of old computers, video monitors, portable music players and other devices. “[The ordinance will include] all those items that people really don’t know what to do with,” says Jean Weinberg, spokeswoman for New York City Councilman Bill de Blasio, lead sponsor of the bill.
The purpose of the law is to eventually remove electronics from the city’s waste stream and out of its landfills. “According to the EPA, as much as 70% of heavy metals contained in landfills, including lead, mercury and cadmium, originates from electronic waste,” the ordinance states. “The incineration of electronic waste can lead to increased mercury, lead and other toxic airborne emissions.”
De Blasio said in a statement that the law would be “a major step forward in confronting the growing problem of toxic electronic waste, which is harming our environment and our communities.” Weinberg says the ordinance, which is expected to pass, would allow companies to determine the most cost-efficient way to collect the old products.