Is It Illegal To Throw Away Your Old Electronics In New York?

If you’ve been doing spring cleaning and refreshing around your home, you may have some old electronics you need to get rid of. If you’re throwing out items like old television, laptops, phones, or VCRs, can you legally just put them out with your regular trash in New York State?

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

In New York State, you are required to properly dispose of your electronic waste, not just put out with your regular garbage,

NYS consumers are required to recycle many electronic waste items, such as computers, computer peripherals, televisions, small scale servers, and small electronic equipment, etc., in an environmentally responsible manner.

Under the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, manufacturers are required to provide;

Free and convenient recycling of electronic waste to most consumers in the state.

Consumers eligible for free and convenient recycling include:

– Individual consumers
– Corporations and businesses with less than 50 full-time employees
– Non-profits with less than 75 full-time employees
– Non-profits designated as 501(c)(3) entities, schools, or local NYS governments

The exceptions are businesses with 50 or more full-time employees and non-profits with 75 or more full-time. These companies may be charged to properly dispose of electronics.

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

I don’t know about you, but I have like 4 to 5 old phones laying around. The NYS Wireless Telephone Recycling Act requires companies that have wireless phones for sale, must provide free recycling for any person to recycle up to 10 devices. If the company does not offer to recycle the phones, it must offer free shipping of devices to a recycling program.

How To Recyle Electronics In New York State

You have two options when it comes to getting rid of permitted electronics,

Option 1: Use a manufacturer’s recycling program
Option 2: Drop off at an electronic waste collection site

There are certain electronics like microwaves, cameras or video cameras, standalone karaoke machines, GPS or navigation devices, and more. You can get the full list and more information on how to recycle electronics here.

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