A new state law that took effect Jan. 1 prohibits businesses, governments, schools, nonprofits and trash haulers from dumping e-waste in landfills or incinerators. E-waste — computers and computer peripherals, televisions, cellphones, DVD players, other small electronic equipment, etc. — must now be recycled. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the ban will apply to residential and household customers, which means no one will be able to place electronic waste at the curb for pickup.
Some of Long Island’s towns and cities already comply with the new regulations, others are putting new practices in place. Here is a roundup of those actions:
Residents can place e-waste at the curb on the same day as bottle and can collection (alternating Wednesdays) for pickup. The commingled material will be brought to Omni Recycling, where it will be separated and either disposed of or recycled. Residents also can drop off e-waste at the Residential Recycling Center located on Field Street in West Babylon, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Residents can leave e-waste outside the gate after hours. The town has been accepting e-waste for the past three years. Babylon contracts with Mount Vernon-based WeRecycle! LLC, which provides the container and training and pays 4 cents per pound. The town is looking into providing additional drop-off points at other town facilities.
The town has notified all residential waste collection contractors that they no longer are permitted to collect e-waste. The town has placed the required signage at the transfer station indicating that e-waste is no longer acceptable. Brookhaven’s e-waste collection site is at its waste management complex on Horseblock Road in Yaphank. Residents are permitted to drop e-waste at this location. Collected material is picked up and processed by Islip Terrace-based e-Green Management LLC. Brookhaven receives 3 cents per pound. Information and disposal options can be found in the town’s “Throwing it Out In Brookhaven” guide book, which is being updated for placement on the town’s website.
Residents can bring electronics for recycling to a special bin at the town recycling center at 260 Springs Fireplace Rd. The Montauk waste facility only operates as a transfer station. East Hampton pays Islandia vendor e-Scrap Destruction to remove electronic waste. The town receives a pod which holds 15,000 pounds and pays $800 for it. The town received one pod last year and is still filling it up.
The city collects e-waste at an annual drive it hosts for residents to properly dispose of computers, radios, VCRs and other electronics, said Glen Cove Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi. The date for this year’s drive has not yet been set. Residents will be notified of the date via mailings and postings. Vermont-based Good Point Recycling handles the items collected, said public works department director William Archambault.
Manufacturers of some electronic products are now required to cover the cost of the disposal of their products and the city will receive 3 to 4 cents per pound in revenue from the e-waste hauled away by manufacturers, Archambault said.
E-cycling schedules and details are included in the town’s sanitation schedule, which is mailed to residents and also is on the town’s website, www.toh.li. There were two curbside e-cycle pickup dates for 2012 (the first was Feb. 1, the other was Feb. 15) for Town of Hempstead residential customers only. In addition, there are four e-cycle events scheduled at which residents can drop off electronic devices (March 11, May 12, Aug. 11 and Oct. 14). The March and August events are in Levittown and the May and October drop-offs take place in Point Lookout.
The town board last month agreed on a contract with Suffolk Industrial Recovery Inc. of Coram. The vendor will compensate the town $150 per ton for e-cycle material (7.5 cents per pound).
The town said it has been recycling its e-waste through its vendors — the current contracted recycler is WeRecycle! LLC — for years. The financial terms are 20 cents per pound for CPU’s, laptops and small scale servers and 5 cents per pound for all other electronics. The contract has a two-year term and two optional one-year extensions.
There is one drop-off site — the Recycling Center at 641 New York Ave. The town also can have one or more off-site special collection events if it chooses; one is planned this year in conjunction with Earth Day, April 21.
The town will place a sticker on e-waste left curbside by businesses. The sticker will inform the owner of the e-waste that it must be dropped off at no charge at the recycling center.
The Islip Terrace firm e-Green Management LLC recycles e-waste on behalf of the town, which receives 6 cents per pound, said department of environmental control commissioner Eric Hofmeister.
In 2011, the town recycled 178,000 pounds of e-waste, he said.
Islip offers a number of ways for residents to e-cycle: curbside collections the last Wednesday of each month; twice-a-year pickups during town-supported “STOP Days” (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants); bins that accept e-waste at town facilities at 401 Main St. in Islip and at the town-run animal shelter in Bay Shore; and the town’s multipurpose recycling facility on Lincoln Road in Holbrook, at which residents can drop off e-waste Monday through Friday.
Residents can recycle old electronics in the blue bin outside the Long Beach Recreation Center on Magnolia Boulevard and West Pine Street. New Jersey-based eRevival LLC picks up and disposes of the old equipment. Further information on e-cycling is available on the city’s website under the “For Our Residents” tab.
City officials ask residents to remember to wipe computer hard drives before recycling them.
Public works director Kevin Mulligan said Long Beach started e-cycling with eRevival LLC on an ad hoc basis in 2009.
In 2010, the city signed a two-year contract with eRevival that expires in March. Long Beach is paying $350 per 20-foot container of e-waste, which holds around 3,300 pounds, Mulligan said. When the city signs a new contract, Mulligan said officials hope to start getting paid for e-waste recycled.
Town officials said a flyer has been sent to every resident with information about the new law and the town’s STOP program. The town has scheduled e-waste collection events throughout town through school district partnerships; six drives conducted between Jan. 23 and Feb. 3 collected more than 34 tons of e-waste. The schedule for e-waste drop-offs was increased from once a week to six days a week. E-waste no longer will be accepted at regular curbside garbage pickup. The town is evaluating bids for a new e-waste contractor.
Town drop-off locations include the town’s Solid Waste Management Authority (802 West Shore Rd., Port Washington), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the town’s Resident Drop-Off Center (999 W. Shore Rd, Roslyn), Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
To date, North Hempstead town has diverted more than 130 tons of e-waste, officials said.
The town is reviewing several submissions from e-waste collection contractors in response to its request for proposals, town spokeswoman Phyllis Barry said.
The town also hosts regular e-waste collection drives in conjunction with its Stop Throwing Out Pollutants program, which accepts pesticides, motor oil, batteries and other hazardous waste. Eight drives will be held in Massapequa, Syosset and other locations throughout the town from April through November. Computers, printers, cellphones and other electronics will be accepted. The dates and locations can be found at oysterbaytown.com.
Town officials urge residents to return old electronics to the store where they were purchased. “They are required to take them back free of charge,” said sanitation superintendent John F. Reeve. Residents are allowed to put e-waste at the curb on special bulk recycling days; everything picked up goes to a special location where all wastes are recycled. Residents also can dispose of electronics during the spring and fall STOP programs or bring them to the electronics disposal area at the yard waste site on Youngs Avenue.
E-waste picked up by commercial carters is sorted out for special disposal at the town transfer station, but that method increases the chance of pollution.
Right now, residents fill three 40-yard Dumpsters a year with e-waste, which is removed for free by Maggio Carting of Medford. Supervisor Sean Walter said the town is considering changing its current disposal system and probably will put out a request for proposals. “We want to see if we can make some money,” Walter said.
E-waste can be taken to the town recycling center on Menantic Road, which is located near the hazmat area. The town accepts everything from computers, printers and fax machines to DVD players and game systems, but does not accept commercial waste.
Shelter Island’s e-waste is taken away by Supreme Asset Management and Recovery of Lakewood, N.J. The town says it fills up eight 30-yard roll-off containers a year, and pays $1,000 per container to have them removed.
Smithtown residents can drop off electronic devices for no charge at the town’s Municipal Services Building (85 Old Northport Rd., Kings Park). Town workers provide curbside pickup of computer towers and monitors; call 631-269-4548 to schedule a pickup.
The town has a contract with e-Scrap Destruction to dispose of the material. Computer parts are ground down so that information embedded in microchips cannot be recovered, said town Environmental Protection director Russell Barnett.
In the town’s current contract with e-Scrap, which expires this month, the town pays no fees and earns no revenue from e-waste disposal. Barnett said he hopes to begin earning money from the program in the next contract.
A majority of homeowners have private pickup service for trash, which is dumped outside the town. The rest of the residents bring their trash to the dump; Southampton does not provide curbside pickup garbage service.
E-waste can be brought to two of the town’s recycling centers — 30 Jackson Ave. in Hampton Bays, and 1370 Major’s Path in Southampton. Residents are advised to erase hard drives before bringing them to either of the two sites.
The town does not pay for or earn revenue from the disposal of e-waste, which is done by a contractor. The town is looking into a new contract that would pay it for e-waste.
Residents can bring electronics to the town’s landfill without charge. The town contracts out the disposal, and makes “a little bit of money for it,” Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said. The town has information about the e-waste disposal program on its website.
Compiled by Aisha Al-Muslim, Stacey Altherr, Denise M. Bonilla, Sarah Crichton, Emily C. Dooley, Mitchell Freedman, Carl MacGowan, Deborah S. Morris, Emily Ngo, Candice Ruud and Patrick Whittle.
Above: The Brookhaven Town landfill is on Horseblock Road in Yaphank. (July 5, 2007)