"This is a huge win for the environment and consumers, who will now be able to recycle electronic waste at no cost," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "This cutting-edge recycling program requires manufacturers to provide all consumers in the state with well-publicized and convenient options for getting rid of used electronics," said Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "This new program will prevent millions of pounds of electronic waste from entering New York's limited landfills," said Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee.In 2007, only 18 percent of e-waste recycled and 82 percent was disposed of, primarily in landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From 1999 to 2005 the recycling rate stayed at 15 percent. However, from 2006 to 2007 the recycling rate increased to 18 percent, “possibly because several states have started mandatory collection and recycling programs for electronics.” "The rapid evolution of technology has meant these products seemingly become obsolete almost as soon as they are manufactured and because they contain toxic substances like lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium they can damage our food and water supplies,” Sweeney said.
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.