The electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program run by the Ecology Center is a unique and innovative community-based program that allows residents to dispose of unwanted or broken electronics in an environmentally responsible way. We started the program in 2003 and offer free collection events in neighborhoods throughout the city, accepting computers, monitors and peripherals (printers, keyboards and mice) as well as TV's and cell phones. For a full list of acceptable items please see our FAQ section.
According to the E.P.A., electronic waste contributes 70% of the toxins found in landfills, while only contributing 1% of the volume of materials in landfills. Electronic waste contains many toxic materials including lead, mercury, cadmium, phosphors and flame-retardants. Recycling your electronics waste decreases energy and water use, reduces pollution, and keeps hazardous chemicals out of our air and water.
A recently passed law requires that manufacturers begin offering free electronic recycling opportunities starting April 1, 2011. The law makes electronics manufacturers responsible for the end of life of their products and thereby gives manufacturers an incentive to design electronic equipment that can be easily recycled by reducing the amount of toxic materials used in production. Such a shift to green designs will benefit everyone, from workers producing and recycling the equipment, to all the avoided environmental degradation associated with using toxic materials. For more information about the law, see the Electronics Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act.
The Ecology Center is working with some manufacturers to bring recycling events to neighborhoods around NYC. Additionally, to capture the full potential of discarded electronics, the Ecology Center would like to develop a Reuse Program that will make electronics available at low or no cost to New Yorkers. With this new law in effect, which will make the disposal of electronics in the trash illegal for New York City households by April 1, 2015, the Ecology Center is looking forward to working with all stakeholders to develop programs that will make recycling of electronics accessible and convenient to all New Yorkers.