In January, the New York City Council will consider a bill on e-waste, requiring manufacturers to take increasing responsibility to recover or recycle the electronic goods they put out into the world.
Old PCs, TVs, answering machines and other stuff occupy landfills, where they leach toxic chemicals into the environment.
(Check out Chris Jordan's Intolerable Beauty, haunting photos of our discards.)
Nationwide, several Big Box Stores currently take back used electronics, and at small-business friendly fees. Click these links for more info: Costco.com, Office Depot, and Staples.
What I don't know: where do the big boys send recyclables? We're creating problems by dumping our e-waste in developing countries. (I'll reach out to each for comments.)
The Lower East Side Ecology Center has offered regular e-waste pickup days for NYC residents. I've dropped off there myself!
NYC residents: be there on January 6th, at the corner of E.17th and Broadway, from 10 to 4.
Or drop off at other times in Astoria, at Build it Green, one of LESEC's partners. Build it Green's website says it is a "not-for-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials".
Hmmm. This looks like a great resource for anyone building out a new business space: I smell a field trip! (I'd also love their idea about what might be done with gently used office supplies.)
Business e-waste is specifically excluded from the LESEC programs; Build it Green's website says that commercial items are accepted at staff discretion.
But for NYC residents dropping off on January 6th, the LESEC's partners recycle here in the US.
How much do I love the Lower East Side Ecology Center? They now have drop-off sites all over Manhattan where they collect household scraps for composting! The intrepid can also learn about composting with worms, a place I'm not personally ready to go...
(And New Yorkers, please reach out to your City Council member, or Mayor Bloomberg, to register your support of the e-waste bill, Intro. 104. UW Siders: rep Inez Dickens reportedly needs a little bit of additional encouragement.)