City Council Votes in Favor of Electronics Recycling

Yesterday New York’s City Council voted in favor of implementing what would be one of the most stringent electronics recycling laws in the country. According to the New York Times, the bill would

impose a $100 fine on anyone who throws an old computer, printer or other electronic gadget into the trash. Recycling the electronic waste will become mandatory, and manufacturers will be required to take back their own products as well as those made by companies that have gone out of business.

The voting majority was enough to override an expected veto from Mayor Bloomberg, who supports e-waste recycling in principle but believes that holding manufacturers accountable for customers’ behavior is unconstitutional. Be that as it may, I can’t think of a better motivational tool to get manufacturers to redesign their products using less toxic materials…

Check out the whole Times article here.

4 Responses to “ City Council Votes in Favor of Electronics Recycling ”

  1. Our, liberal in republicans clothing, Mayor is right to veto this measure.
    Ms. Quinn put this up to be defeated. She gets to say “Whoopee we’re Green!” BS!!
    As Sustainable Flatbush knows recycling electronics takes grassroots efforts.
    Saying electronics companies have to recycle products they sell is like saying Pampers has to take back used diapers.
    We buy these products it is up to us to dispose of them responsibly.
    We have to take responsibility for our purchases.

  2. Hmmm… not sure I agree completely.

    While I do have firsthand experience with grassroots e-waste recycling efforts (as John G has witnessed), what strikes me each time I do one of these events is how much better it would be for the manufacturers to make a more responsible product from the beginning. I agree that consumers should share the responsibility for proper disposal of what we buy, but even the best we can do at this point is still just “less bad”. There is no option to buy products that truly “do no harm”, because the industry is not designing them. Why? Because under current conditions their accountability ends at the warehouse door.

    The only way to change product design is to force tech companies (and ALL companies, really) to deal with the end-of-life ramifications of their products.

  3. For example, items that are currently “disposable” because it’s cheaper to buy a new one than to repair the old one (printers, scanners, PDAs, iPods) would probably become much easier to fix and/or upgrade if Dell or Apple actually had to deal with the mountains of techno junk they put into the world…

  4. i received this news by email today, from a participant in our recent neighborhood e-waste recycling event:

    Bloomberg: NYC won’t enforce electronics recycling law

    Associated Press Writer

    February 15 2008, 5:22 PM EST

    NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that he will veto the City Council’s bill requiring electronics manufacturers to be in charge of recycling their products and would not enforce the law if his veto is overridden.

    The complete article can be viewed at:–recyclingelectron0215feb15,0,501453.story

    hmmmm… the proposed law would go into effect in 2009, but from the article it looks like the manufacturer’s quotas don’t even begin until 2012. where does bloomberg expect to be after his last term as mayor?

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