Guidance for Municipal Electronic Waste Collection Sites
Many municipalities offer electronic waste collection opportunities to their residents. Those that will begin collecting covered electronic equipment (CEE) or will continue to do so after January 1, 2011 must meet the same requirements as "electronic waste collection sites" under the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act.
For a full description of requirements that apply to electronic waste collection sites, please review section 27-2613(1) of the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (PDF) (38 kb) (Environmental Conservation Law, Article 27, Title 26).
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are municipalities required to collect electronic waste under the new law?
No. Municipalities have no responsibilities under the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act. In fact, a key purpose of the Act was to remove the burden and expense of managing costly electronic waste acceptance programs from municipalities, and introduce a producer responsibility approach to managing this expanding waste stream.
Instead of requiring municipal collection, the law requires manufacturers of CEE to provide all counties of the state, and all municipalities which have a population of ten thousand or greater, with at least one convenient method of recycling. Manufacturers and/or collective electronic waste acceptance programs may make arrangements with municipalities to collect electronic waste as a part of their electronic waste acceptance programs.
Will Household Hazardous Waste State Assistance Program Funding from the Department for electronic waste collection be available to municipalities after the new law goes into effect?
As of April 1, 2011, when electronic waste acceptance programs must be implemented, there will no longer be Household Hazardous Waste State Assistance Program Funding available from the Department for municipal collection of CEE. Municipalities participating in an electronic waste acceptance program might be able to receive some form of financial assistance through their agreements with such programs.
What costs and revenues, if any, should municipalities include in next year's budget for electronic waste collection and recycling programs?
Municipalities are not required to provide electronic waste collection and recycling programs. If a municipality chooses to do so, it should budget its own funds, or enter into an agreement with a manufacturer or collective electronic waste acceptance program to provide collection services on its behalf.
There are no assurances that manufacturers or collective electronic waste acceptance programs will cover the costs of municipal programs. Manufacturers or collective electronic waste acceptance programs may, voluntarily, enter into agreements with municipalities to provide collection services to help the manufacturers meet their obligations under the Act.
What should consumers and municipalities do with electronic equipment that is not covered under the new law?
Municipalities may choose to collect electronic equipment that is not included in the Act as CEE. Consumers and municipalities can also check with manufacturer or collective electronic waste acceptance programs, or electronic waste recyclers and dismantlers to see if they will accept a broader range of electronic equipment than what is required.
Please keep in mind that under the New York State Wireless Recycling Act, which became effective January 1, 2007, all wireless telephone service providers that offer phones for sale must accept cell phones for reuse or recycling.
Are municipalities participating in a manufacturer's or collective's electronic waste acceptance program required to accept electronic waste dropped off by non-household consumers?
Since these municipalities will be acting on behalf of manufacturers or collective electronic waste acceptance programs, municipalities will be required to accept electronic waste from some or all of the following, depending upon the agreement with the electronic waste acceptance program: individuals, businesses, corporations, limited partnerships, not-for-profit corporations, the state, public corporations, public schools, school district, private or parochial school or board of cooperative educational services or governmental entity. For-profit businesses with 50 or more full-time employees and not-for-profit organizations with 75 or more full-time employees can be assessed a charge for the service, while all other consumers are entitled to recycle CEE at no charge.
What is the Department's role under the new law?
The Department is responsible for overseeing a comprehensive system for managing the rapidly growing problem of electronic waste across the state. The Department must collect, process, analyze, track and summarize information required by the Act. The law will require the Department to use this data to allocate responsibility for the collection of electronic waste amongst manufacturers of CEE.
The Department will not be involved in setting up arrangements between manufacturers or collective electronic waste acceptance programs and municipalities, as this will be the responsibility of ESD.