The electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program run by the Ecology Center is a unique and innovative community based program that allows residents to dispose of unwanted or broken electronics in an environmentally responsible way. We started the program in 2003 and offer free collection events in neighborhoods throughout the city, accepting computers, monitors and peripherals (printers, keyboards and mice) as well as TV's and cell phones. For a full list of acceptable items please see our FAQ section.
Since 2004 the Ecology Center has also worked with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other advocacy groups to support the New York City Council to pass e-waste legislation based on the principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR). In 2008 New York City became the first municipality to pass an electronic waste recycling law, Local Law 13 of 2008. The law makes electronics manufacturers responsible for the end of life of their products and thereby gives manufacturers an incentive to design electronic equipment that can be easily recycled by reducing the amount of toxic materials used in the production. Such a shift to green designs will benefit everyone, from workers producing and recycling the equipment, to all the avoided environmental degradation associated with using toxic materials.
With this new law in effect, which will make the disposal of electronics in the trash illegal for New York City households by July 1, 2010 the Ecology Center is looking forward to working with all stakeholders to develop programs that will make recycling of electronics accessible and convenient to all New Yorkers. Additionally, to capture the full potential of discarded electronics, the Ecology Center would like to develop a Reuse Program, making electronics available at low or no cost to New Yorkers.