New York City’s total improperly disposed electronic waste has decreased by nearly 60 percent from 2005 to 2017, thanks in large part to electronics recycling programs in the City designed to best serve the diverse needs of the more than 8 million residents. These include innovative programs such as the ecycleNYC residential e-waste collection systems as well as curbside e-waste pickup programs in Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn and citywide collection events, and retail, non-profit, and city managed drop-off programs.
The ecycleNYC and curbside pickup programs were designed as a collaboration by DSNY with ERI, the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste and the world’s largest cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company, and supported by leading electronics manufacturers such as LG Electronics USA and Samsung.
The New York City Department of Sanitation just released its 2017 NYC Residential, School, and NYCHA Waste Characterization Study, the latest look at what New Yorkers put in their trash, recycling, and organics bins. Among the highlights of the study was that e-waste in the traditional waste stream has declined by 60 percent.
“This study tells us that our efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste are working,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “The average New York City household throws away less and recycles more today than five years ago. The study also shows us that we have incredible opportunities to develop and grow programs to achieve even more. Together, we are working toward our goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030.”
The State of New York banned throwing e-waste in the trash to protect landfills from the highly toxic materials that can be found in old televisions, computers and other electronics. Including these items in trash or recycling can result in a $100 fine.
Enter ecycleNYC, the groundbreaking residential e-waste collection program for New York City apartment residents, as well as a network of events and drop-off programs, followed by the addition of a curbside collection program (which began in Staten Island, has expanded to parts of Brooklyn, and will soon be branching out into the other Boroughs). ERI’s suite of NYC collection programs has collected more than 29 million pounds in just five years and provides an opportunity for all New Yorkers to properly recycle their e-waste. The ecycleNYC and curbside programs are directly serving over 3.1 million New Yorkers at their homes.
Experts believe the convenience of such programs by DSNY, ERI and their partnering manufacturers opened the door to the city’s current and remarkable success in the e-waste category.
“We are honored to be part of the constructive collaboration and historic and successful partnership with the great city of New York and the sustainably-minded manufacturers who helped to make the program possible,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “It is particularly rewarding to be able to offer NYC residents a suite of programs, such as ecycleNYC and the curbside pickup program, which are advancements that make responsible, effective recycling of electronic waste convenient for millions. To have played such a distinct role in diverting 60 percent more e-waste away from the trash compared to only a couple years ago is a humbling and rewarding experience.”
“At Samsung, we understand the positive impact responsible recycling has for our environment, and our partnership with ERI highlights our commitment to educating consumers on how to safely manage their electronic waste,” said Mark Newton, Head of Environmental, Regulatory Affairs, and Sustainability at Samsung Electronics America. “Programs like ecycleNYC help to provide consumers with a free and convenient option to dispose of unwanted electronics in an environmentally responsible way.”
John I. Taylor, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Sustainability for LG Electronics USA, congratulated New York on the program’s progress. “Environmental sustainability is a core business principle at LG, and responsible electronics recycling is a key pillar of our programs in the United States. We’re proud of our role in significantly reducing e-waste in landfills, thanks to this kind of public-private partnership in cooperation with New York and leading certified recyclers like ERI,” he said.
Buildings, management companies or residents that want to learn more about electronics recycling in NYC, can visit www.nyc.gov/ecycle.