Recycling stock

New York State’s new recycling rules to make it easier for consumers to recycle electronic products went into effect on January 1st, 2023. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly way to dispose of any unwanted gadgets you received over the holiday season.

According to a recent survey, roughly 36% of consumers are expected to purchase a consumer technology product this holiday season. That creates a lot of additional devices to recycle, and residential customers can now responsibly recycle those devices for free throughout New York State.

Beginning in 2023, recyclers will work with manufacturers to provide free and convenient recycling on all covered electronics at drop-off sites throughout New York.

Acceptable materials include:

  • Computers,, Monitors

  • Computer accessories (Mice, Keyboards, Webcams, Speakers, Microphones)

  • Cables & all IT accessories, Storage devices (External hard drives, solid state drives, SD cards, memory cards, card readers, etc.), Computer power supplies

  • Printers (Ink, toner, & cartridges)

  • Gaming devices, Network devices, Computer peripherals, Circuit boards/cards, Scanners.

Unacceptable Materials include:

  • Devices containing mercury (thermostats, light bulbs, lamps, etc.)

  • Household hazardous waste, Devices containing refrigerants (A/C units, water coolers, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, wine chillers, etc.)

  • Broken/bare CRT (tube)

  • Materials containing liquids

  • Radioactive materials (smoke detectors)

  • Devices containing PCBs (ballasts from light fixtures must clearly state “No PCBs”)

  • Gas powered equipment

  • Large appliances (i.e. stoves, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers)

  • Paper for shredding

  • Common household batteries (i.e. AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, NiCad tool batteries)

  • Damaged, defective, recalled, swollen, burned, or leaking batteries

  • CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, and cassette tapes

  • Remanufactured/off-brand/generic toner

  • Medical Sharps

A full list of acceptable and unacceptable materials can be found here.

The updated state law prohibits charging people to recycle their used electronics. These new regulations are an update to clarify the original 'NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act' passed in 2010.

President of Sunking, Adam Shine said, "This year, they have created new regulations where nobody can pay anything for electronics recycling, not consumers, not sites, the manufacturer has to take and pay the full boat of true electronics recycling.”

However, the update does not restrict big box retailers from charging consumers for electronics recycling - which could still cost upwards of $75 per device.

According to Shine, "There are no more excuses. It's easy for us all to buy these electronics, and now the state wants to make sure it's that easy to recycle them.”

He continued saying, "Whenever you dropped these devices off previously, there may have been a charge at your municipality or donation center. Consumers should consider it a big win now that those costs are gone to participating partners."

(3) comments

Stuart Berg

Why do "Acceptable materials" and "Unacceptable Materials" BOTH include "Monitors"? Which is it?

Loretta Goss

I looks like broken monitors are "unacceptable".

Richard Ballantyne

Do I have to make a special trip down to the Tompkins County Solid waste facility to drop off any approved electronic devices, or can I instead conveniently place them in a separate green recycling bin and leave them on my street on recycling pickup day?

Welcome to the discussion.

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