New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill on April 1 requiring manufacturers of computers, monitors, televisions and other electronic equipment to accept their products for recycling when returned by any person in the city, and to dispose of the equipment in an environmentally sound manner. The legislation was passed by the city council, and approved by the mayor after being reintroduced as two pieces of legislation. The first — that Bloomberg signed — sets the program in motion; the second sets collection standards that Bloomberg is expected to veto.
Under the legislation that passed, electronics manufacturers will devise and run programs that could include curbside pickups, neighborhood collections and returns by mail and in stores. Consumers would be required to participate, and by 2010 would face a $100 fine for throwing out e-waste. Manufacturers who fail to recycle returned merchandise could be fined $1,000 for each violation. The programs would require Department of Sanitation approval.
Twelve states have adopted electronic waste laws. New York City is the first municipality to do so.