Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bill About Recycling Electronics in NYC- what you can do

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great New Year's.

I'm reposting a post from the No Impact Man blog in order to help get the word out about recycling your gadgets and gizmos. There's a hearing coming up this month on Jan 14th about a bill that would "require manufacturers of electronics sold within the City to take responsibility for the "end-of-life management" of their products." The electronics companies are trying to beat it down so we need to let Mayor Bloomberg know that this bill has support from the public!

No Impact Man

An end to e-toxins just a phone call away (please make it)

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 02:00 AM CST

First off, let me ask you please to forward this post to every New Yorker you know, and ask them to make the calls...

Some say that e-waste--trashed computers, cell phones, printers and other gadgets--is becoming one of the biggest toxicity problems facing our culture. In the US, municipal incineration of e-waste is the largest source of cancer-producing dioxin and among the largest point source of heavy metal contaminations in the atmosphere. I've written about this here and here.

Good news around the country: Organizations like New York's Lower East Side Ecology Center stage free recycling events to collect our e-waste and make sure it doesn't end up harming us or our planet. In fact, LESEC will be collecting our old gadgets this Sunday, January 6, from 10 AM to 4 PM at Unions Square (see here for more details). If you live outside New York City, click here to learn how to recycle your e-waste.

Even better news in New York City: Municipalities around the world are working to make electronics manufacturers responsible for cleaning up their own e-toxic mess, including New York City. In fact, on January 14, there will be a hearing in the City Council Chambers about a bill that would require manufacturers of electronics sold within the City to take responsibility for the "end-of-life management" of their products.

The important thing about this legislation, modeled on systems already in place in the European Union and Maine, Maryland and Washington, is that it provides financial incentive for electronics manufacturers to make their products less toxic and design them with recycling and reuse in mind. In other words, this system greens not only the disposal but also the production of electronics.

You can read more about the New York City bill in the New York Times and Gotham Gazette. You can read the bill itself here.

New York City residents have to help: Needless to say, some in the electronics industry are presently trying to kill the bill. They want the financial costs of recycling to fall on consumers, which would leave manufacturers with no incentives to green their production processes. So, here's your call to action.

Please contact both Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Tell them that you "support Intro. 104 as written" and ask them to move it forward. You can contact Bloomberg's office online here. You can contact Quinn's office by calling 212-788-7210.

Fellow bloggers and journalists: Would you mind too much transmitting this call to action, too?

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