Reprinted from:

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/22561/20130820/e-waste-recycling-up-but-new-standards-needed

Aug 20, 2013 — New York State has seen a boost in the volume of electronic waste being recycled since new legislation was introduced in 2011. The laws make manufacturers responsible for the recycling of their own products and bans disposals of consumer electronics in landfills.This means that recycling companies are doing well, but plans for national regulations remain stalled.

Two years after its enactment, a New York state law governing the recycling of electronic waste is making an impact according to a progress report. The study from the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) shows more involvement from industry, but a number of the big box retailers are still lagging behind.

New York state residents produce more than 300 million pounds of electronic waste each year. And the number of outdated computers, phones, televisions and appliances are continuing to pile up. Most of these items contain hazardous materials, and in 2011 the state passed a law mandating that manufacturers create programs to collect used consumer electronics, and recycle them.
The plan was to reduce the cost burden on local governments and make it easier for consumers to keep their old electronics out of landfills.

According to the PSI report, the number of collection sites for electronic scrap has increased by nearly 80 percent since the program was launched.

Institute CEO and founder Scott Cassel says while it’s definitely easier for consumers to recycle their electronics, there’s still more work to be done.

“We want there to be more convenient options. You can’t tell residents to recycle if it’s going to be inconvenient for them. So, it’s the awareness and it’s the increased opportunities for collection.”

Cassel says it’s also important for retailers to get involved.