More work to be done for consumer ease in electronic recycling

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August 7, 2013

Two years after its enactment, a New York state law governing the recycling of electronic waste appears to be making an impact. A study from the Product Stewardship Institute or PSI shows increased involvement from industry. But the big box retailers are still lagging behind.

New York state residents produce more than 300-million-pounds of electronic waste each year. That’s a lot of our broken and outdated computers, televisions, and phones.

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.

The plan was to reduce the cost burden on local governments.

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 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.

Some of the big players like Walmart, Amazon and Sears still don’t have a recycling option for the electronics they sell.