NYC Department of Environmental Protection

New York becomes first US municipality to introduce e-waste legislation


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws; 'The first of four bills before me today is Introductory Number 728, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members de Blasio, McMahon, Comrie, Dickens, Fidler, Gentile, Katz, Koppell, Recchia, Sanders, Weprin, Gerson, Jackson, James, Stewart, Vallone, Martinez, Yassky, Liu, Nelson, Foster, Monserrate, Rivera, Garodnick, Mealy and Sears.  This bill establishes an electronics collection, handling and disposal program for New York City's electronic waste.

'Electronic waste, known as 'e-waste,' contains many toxic substances and represents a growing share of New York City's commercial and residential waste stream.  Currently, manufacturers of electronic equipment are not required by law to bear any of the financial burden or responsibility for safely managing discarded electronic equipment at the end of its useful life, thus burdening local government and consumers with these costs and responsibilities.  If e-waste is improperly handled, it can harm our environment through the release of toxic substances into the waste stream.

'Introductory Number 728 requires manufacturers of certain electronic equipment - such as computers, monitors and televisions - to collect their products offered for return by any person in the City, and to ensure that the equipment is properly disposed of in accordance with existing laws and EPA guidelines.  Manufacturers will be required to submit an electronic waste management plan to the Department of Sanitation, describing in detail how they would implement the requirements of the law.  Introductory Number 728 will make it unlawful for manufacturers and others to dispose of electronic waste in the City's solid waste stream.

'In the absence of Federal legislation, twelve states have passed electronic waste laws.  New York City will be the first municipality to pass e-waste legislation, which will protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of New York City. It will also improve our environment without placing any unreasonable or arbitrary requirements on electronics manufacturers.

'I would like to thank Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, Erica Keberle from our Legislative Affairs Office and all the staff who collectively worked with the Council to reach consensus on this issue.  I would also like to thank Speaker Quinn for her leadership and the Council for approving this bill.'

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