The New York State Solid Waste Examiner
News From Assemblymember William Colton
Chair, Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management

4 Empire State Plaza, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12248 • (518) 455-3711 Fall Edition 2006

Assemblymember William Colton

Mercury Car Switches Reduction Becomes Law

NY Recycles License Plate Bill Vetoed

Pollution Reduction from Outdoor Wood Burning Stoves and Burn Barrels

Waste Tire Management Update

CSG/ERC Model Electronics Recycling Legislation

Status of State Electronic Recycling Proposals

Comparison of Return vs Market Share E-Waste Bills

Colton Electronics Recycling Bills

Wireless Phone Return Incentive Approved

NYC Solid Waste Management Plan Update

2006-07 Budget

Bigger Better Bottle Bill


Marilyn M. DuBois
Patrick Golden
Richard Morse
Lining He
Rona Cohen, CSG/ERC

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

The Legislature has finished its work for the year and bills have been sent to the Governor for his action. Another landmark budget was generally completed on time and the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) was increased to $225 million, an all-time high for this important program. The newsletter contains a more detailed review of funding for solid waste and other programs.

The Commission has played an important role in a number of key environmental issues during the 2006 legislative session. One of our principal activities has been the development of legislative initiatives to require the recycling, reuse and remanufacture of electronic equipment. Much of this newsletter is devoted to a discussion of the issues and processes that have occurred on this critically important topic. The Commission played a pivotal role in the successful effort to bring consensus among 14 Northeastern states on a regional model for recycling of electronics.

Several Commission initiatives passed the Legislature in 2006. One bill providing an incentive for return of unwanted wireless telephones by requiring wireless phone service providers to make free shipping available has been sent to the Governor. A second bill that would have changed the status of a vehicle license plate “New York Recycles” from a “custom” plate to an “issues” plate, with proceeds dedicated to the EPF’s Solid Waste Fund, was recently vetoed by the Governor. A third bill that would establish a ban within four years for mercury components in automobiles was not acted upon by the Governor within 10 days and therefore has become law. These will be discussed further under the Legislative Report.

The newsletter also contains an update on the New York City Solid Waste Management Plan, which was recently approved by the City Council. Notwithstanding differences of opinion on the Plan details, the City now has a new blueprint for managing its wastes, including an initiative to recover and recycle electronic equipment.

The Commission has collaborated on other legislative initiatives, including the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill, outdoor wood-burning stoves, opening burning of garbage and waste tire recovery.

As always, I encourage your input and comments on these and other issues.


Mercury Components Phase-Out in Vehicles Becomes Law

In 2003, Assemblyman Colton introduced a comprehensive bill that requires motor vehicle manufacturers to develop:

  • plans for removal, collection and recovery of mercury switches from end-of-life motor vehicles to achieve a collection rate of not less than 50 percent per calendar year for 2007 and a capture rate of 70 percent from 2008 to 2018; and

  • public education programs about the program

The bill also requires manufacturers to reimburse vehicle recyclers at two dollars per switch and the Department of Environmental Conservation at twenty five cents per switch.

Manufacturer plans are required to be reviewed and approved by the Department, and are required to utilize existing end-of-life vehicle recycling facilities where practicable. Further, the bill would establish a system to store the mercury collected and recovered from motor vehicles components in the event that environmentally appropriate management technologies are not available. This bill passed the Assembly earlier this year

Near the end of session this year, the Senate introduced legislation that simply required a phase-out of mercury components from motor vehicles and established procurement requirements for mercury-free vehicles. Subsequently, Assemblyman Colton introduced this bill, which passed both houses and became law in August. In 2003, U.S. automakers had voluntarily agreed to discontinue the use of mercury switches in convenience lights, anti-lock brake systems (ABSs) and ride control systems (see Federal Actions section).

The new law takes effect on January 1, 2007 and requires motor vehicle manufacturers to phase out the use of components containing more than 15 milligrams of mercury in motor vehicles within four years. Further, the bill provides for an exemption for those motor vehicles which may be equipped with a mercury component required by federal or state safety or health requirements. The bill also establishes a purchasing preference for state motor vehicles that are mercury-free.

The Assembly continues to strongly advocate for reducing mercury in the environment. Mercury is a persistent and toxic metal that bio-accumulates in the environment. Forty-one states, including New York, have issued fish advisories warning certain individuals, including pregnant women and women of child-bearing age, to restrict or avoid consuming fish from bodies of water contaminated with mercury.

It has been estimated that the historic and current use of mercury in motor vehicles can cause the release of as much as ten tons of mercury into the environment each year. Based on the automobile industry’s own data, there is estimated to be between one hundred fifty and two hundred tons of mercury in the motor vehicles currently on the road in North America.

Federal Actions

On July 1, 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule requiring notification to EPA 90 days prior to U.S. manufacture, import or processing of elemental mercury for use in convenience lights, anti-lock brake system (ABS) switches and active ride control system switches in certain cars. On January 1, 2003, American automakers voluntarily discontinued the use of mercury switches in convenience lights, ABS systems and ride control systems; foreign automakers had already discontinued use of such switches. The new proposed rule does not apply to cars produced prior to 2003.

In addition, EPA recently announced a national voluntary program among auto manufacturers, steelmakers, dismantlers, shredders, EPA, states, representatives of the environmental community and trade associations, to recover mercury light switches from scrap vehicles prior to their being flattened, shredded and melted to make new steel, called the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program. This program will continue until 2017 based on estimates that 90% of the vehicles containing mercury switches would be retired by that time.

“The Assembly continues to strongly advocate for reducing mercury in the environment. Mercury is a persistent and toxic metal that bio-accumulates in the environment. Forty-one states, including New York, have issued fish advisories warning certain individuals, including pregnant women and women of child-bearing age, to restrict or avoid consuming fish from bodies of water contaminated with mercury.”

Governor Vetoes Colton Legislation to Change the Designation of the “New York Recycles” License Plate
Assemblyman Colton Sharply Criticizes Governor’s Action as Misinformed

NY Recycles License Plate

Assemblyman William Colton charged the Governor with using poor judgement and faulty advice in vetoing his “New York Recycles” license plate bill. The Governor vetoed a number of bills creating new license plates, stating that litigation in New York and elsewhere has claimed First Amendment rights violation by “mandating” issuance of custom license plates. Furthermore, the Governor claimed that the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has placed a moratorium on the issuance of new custom plates, although the moratorium does not apply to plates already mandated by law.

Assemblyman Colton noted that his office had received information from DMV that they did not oppose his bill, based on the fact that the “New York Recycles” license plate already exists. The Colton bill would only change the designation of the plate from a “custom” plate to an “issues” plate and direct the sales to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Assemblyman Colton has indicated he will re-introduce the bill in 2007.

Assemblyman Colton introduced the bill (A 6799/S 3643) in 2005. The bill would have required a $25.00 annual fee for each license plate sale and renewal to be credited to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) Solid Waste Account. The money was earmarked for municipal waste reduction and recycling activities.

By changing the designation of the “New York Recycles” license plate to an “issues” license plate, the Colton bill would increase the visibility of the plate’s availability on the DMV web site. In addition, the annual fee for this specialty plate would be be deposited in the EPF to provide further support for local recycling efforts. The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) originally worked with the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles to create the new license plate and collaborated with Assemblyman Colton in developing the legislation for an “issues” plate designation.

Assemblyman Colton stated “I am very disappointed that the Governor has erroneously vetoed my bill, since the “New York Recycles” license plate already exists. This license plate offers New Yorkers the opportunity to visibly demonstrate their personal commitment to the concepts of reduction, reuse and recycling, while benefiting municipal recycling programs.“

Assembly Focuses Attention on Reducing Toxic Emissions from Open Burning of Waste and Outdoor Wood-burning Stoves Senate Once Again Fails to Act

Outdoor Wood-burning Stoves – a New Threat

In 2006, the Commission developed legislation regulating outdoor wood-burning stoves. The new bill A 10693, would require the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH) to set standards for outdoor wood-burning devices, in order to protect the public’s health and the environment from harmful air emissions.

Outdoor wood-burning devices are located outside the primary residential or commercial dwelling they serve, designed to transfer heat from water heated by burning natural wood to indoor spaces, swimming pools, hot tubs or other hot water uses. under this proposal, outdoor wood-burning devices must comply with the following:

  • shall only operate between May 1st and September 30th;

  • shall not be installed or operated within seven hundred feet of occupied hospital, school, daycare center or nursing home buildings or the boundary of a municipal park or recreational facility;

  • shall not be installed or operated within two hundred feet from the nearest residence not served by an outdoor wood-burning device.

DEC would be required to promulgate testing methods for the measurement of particulate matter to determine compliance with emission standards that are at least as stringent as the federal particulate matter emission standard for indoor wood stoves. The bill also contains enforcement provisions for violations.

Unlike indoor woodstoves, outdoor wood-burning devices are currently unregulated by New York State or the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Outdoor wood-burning devices produce excessive smoke, which often contains unhealthy amounts of particulate matter, dioxins, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde and other toxic air pollutants, causing serious potential environmental and health impacts for surrounding neighbors. Exposure to outdoor wood-burning device smoke can cause adverse respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms, asthmatic sensitivity, lung illnesses and cancer. Studies show that children, the elderly and individuals with pre-existing cardio-respiratory diseases or diabetes are at greater risk than the general population of developing these symptoms.

Since 1988, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulated indoor wood stoves particulate matter emissions. In New York State, at least twelve municipalities either have restricted or banned the use of outdoor wood-burning devices.

Getting Rid of Burn Barrels – the old threat continues

For the 9th year in a row, the Assembly approved legislation that would substantially limit the open burning of solid waste across New York State (A 3073/S 2971). This legislation is necessary because New York State environmental regulations currently allow the outdoor burning of solid waste in towns with fewer than 20,000 population.

Despite strong support from many groups, including solid waste management groups, environmentalists, mayors, health professionals, firefighters, casualty insurance companies, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation as well as individuals across the State directly impacted by emissions from burn barrels, the bill has failed to pass the Senate again this year.

A 2004 EPA report, prepared in cooperation with the NYS Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation found that burning 3 to 11 pounds of household waste in a burn barrel is equivalent to the burning of 200 tons of household waste in a modern, well-controlled incinerator. Emissions from open burning are thousands or tens of thousands of times greater than from permitted waste management facilities.

Smoke from open burning of waste frequently includes significant amounts of over 20 dangerous pollutants, including benzene, particulates, PAHs, lead, arsenic and mercury which can damage the respiratory system, nervous system, kidneys, and liver of those exposed. Harmful toxins emitted from the open burning of waste, including dioxins, are generated in significant amounts due to the low combustion temperatures and poor air distribution inevitable in open burning devices. Open burning of solid waste has been identified by EPA as the largest quantified source of dioxins. The toxicity of dioxins, even at extremely low levels, has been linked to serious health problems in humans, including cancer and adverse developmental and reproductive effects. Dioxins emitted by open burning can migrate significant distances and can accumulate in the food chain, contaminating meat, dairy and other agricultural products, as well as wild game consumed by humans.

NYS Waste Tire Stockpile Abatement Program Update

The Waste Tire Management and Recycling Act passed in 2003 provides urgently needed funds for cleaning up the estimated 30 million waste tires abandoned and stockpiled throughout New York State. These waste tires pose significant public health, safety, and environmental risks from severe fire potential, pollution, and the spread of diseases. In addition to facilitating the cleanup of the stockpiled waste tires, the Act also provides funds for the market development for reusing and recycling stockpiled and currently-generated waste tires. The Act establishes a hierarchy of uses for waste tires, ranking recycling and beneficial use (non-burning) of waste tires as the highest priorities when economically feasible.

At sites where the State has taken waste tire abatement responsibility, only beneficial uses, such as value-added materials in civil engineering (road or other construction applications) are being sought. The vast majority of unlawfully-stockpiled waste tires in the State are located at these sites, which are owned by persons unable to remediate them.

The entire abatement process is scheduled for completion by the end of 2010. More than 5.5 million waste tires already have been processed, prepared, and for the most part, used in civil engineering applications. Millions of these tires have been used in numerous State Department of Transportation construction projects, where tire shreds have specific advantageous properties.

Currently, the Waste Tire Management and Recycling program appears to be on track toward meeting the 2010 stockpile cleanup date. The program is simultaneously establishing an effective waste tire recycling and management system that can avoid waste tire stockpiling hazards in the future.

The Chart below describes the status of remediation at the sites listed.

Site DOT Used in Road Const'n DOT Stored Non-DOT Benef'ly Used
Cycletech 1,125,000 0 1,172,000
Southern Tier 197,700 0 21,900
Clarence 96,400 466,400 49,200
Hutchings 0 166,300 84,00
Homburg 0 1,087,300 400,700
Tire Recycling 0 118,600 45,300
Fortino 0 764,500 158,800

TOTAL 1,419,100 2,603,100 1,931,900
*Cycletech & Southern Tier have been completely abated. ***Homburg is <400,000 tires away from being finished with tire processing.
**Clarence & Hutchings are finished with tire processing; DOT material stored awaiting next project


The Commission’s report “Where Will the Garbage Go?” for the most recent years is expected to be issued shortly. To view the findings, click here.

Electronic Equipment Reuse, Recovery and Recycling
The CSG/ERC and NERC Project

The Commission has been working on electronic equipment recycling initiatives and incentives for several years. Previous newsletters have reported on workshops and roundtables, legislation, current opportunities and obstacles for reuse, recycling and recovery of electronics, and government initiatives to encourage e-waste recovery.

In 2005, the Commission became actively involved in a project spearheaded by the Council of State Governments/ Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC). In the absence of a national program for electronic equipment recovery and recycling, the goal of the project was to develop “model” legislation that might be introduced and adopted by the Northeast States for recycling end-of-life electronics.

The project was conceived in the fall of 2004, when several members of the CSG/ERC Energy & Environment Committee voiced concern over the lack of comprehensive programs to collect, reuse, process, and recycle discarded computers, televisions, and other electronic devices in their states. They requested that CSG/ERC facilitate a process to help legislators develop a coordinated legislative effort to address these issues in the region. CSG/ERC invited the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), a non-profit organization that operates in the same ten Northeastern states as CSG/ERC, to collaborate on the project.

February 2005 marked the start of this ambitious undertaking by CSG/ERC, NERC and legislators and staff from the Northeast region (New England States, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Quebec) to develop a coordinated approach for managing unwanted electronic equipment.

CSG/ERC and NERC staff facilitated a series of bi-monthly conference calls in which state participants debated key elements of electronics management systems. Participants also solicited input from electronics manufacturers, retailers, recyclers, leasing companies, reuse organizations, environmental groups, and local government representatives through two multi-stakeholder meetings, plus additional individual stakeholder meetings and conference calls. These stakeholders had the opportunity to bring issues to the table and to provide comments on several legislative drafts that were available for public review.

More than 50 legislators, legislative and state environmental agency staff contributed to the effort during the course of more than a year. These participants recognized that it was unlikely that identical legislative proposals would be filed in all the Northeast states. However, they did agree that the financing mechanism should be similar across states in order to reap the benefits of coordinated end-of-life electronics management – including reduced compliance costs for manufacturers, lower management costs for government, and increased recycling opportunities and efficiencies for the public.

Recycle Arrow
Assemblymember Colton joins with presenters Rona Cohen, Sr. Policy Analyst with the Council of State Governments, Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC) and Representative Christopher Ross of Pennsylvania to discuss electronic equipment recycling initiatives. Rona Cohen was the driving force behind the CSG/ERC project to develop a regional manufacturer responsibility proposal for electronics recycling.


The model legislation “An Act Providing for the Recovery and Recyling of Used Electronic Devices”, proposes a financing mechanism based on manufacturers’ sales of covered electronic devices (CEDs) in the state, rather than on their share of returned CEDs. The model legislation contains provisions for state participation in coordinated multi-state end-of-life programs. A copy of the model legislation is available on the CSG/ERC website: The following is a brief outline of the key issues addressed in the model legislation.

Key Discussion Issues: The two principal issues to be resolved were the scope of products covered and the method of financing the programs.

A. Scope of Products: Participants generally agreed to limit the scope of CEDs in the final legislative model to desktop and personal computers, computer monitors, laptops, and televisions. The legislation includes an option for either the legislature or the state regulatory agency to expand the scope of regulated products.

B. Financing Mechanism: Legislators felt strongly that the financial responsibility for an end-of-life electronics management system should rest with the manufacturers, and not impose direct fees on the consumer. Furthermore, the legislators determined that retailers should not be responsible for the collection of fees. The legislators also wanted a simple and equitable system for covering “orphan” waste, to ensure that minimal burdens are placed on municipalities for the collection and transport of used electronics to consolidation or processing centers, and that existing infrastructures are incorporated into new statewide programs. In addition, many legislators wished to create a financial incentive to encourage the development of manufacturer-run programs.

Therefore, the model requires manufacturers of CEDs to

  • report on sales (or request that the state agency calculate their sales on their behalf);

  • pay an annual $5,000 registration fee; and

  • pay for the cost of collecting, transporting, and recycling their total obligation (or share) of CEDs, by weight, or

  • implement take-back programs that result in the collection, transportation, and recycling of their total obligation.

Manufacturers’ financial obligation is based on the annual sales, by weight, of CEDs in the previous year multiplied by the state recycling rate for electronics.

Other Important Elements of the Model Legislation

1. Reporting and Registration: The model legislation requires all manufacturers of CEDs to register annually with the state and pay a $5,000 registration fee; and report to the agency the total weight of CEDs sold in the state during the previous year. Alternatively, a manufacturer could request that the agency calculate the total weight of CEDs it sold in a state, using prorated sales data based on state population.

Many manufacturers indicated that they do not possess nor can they obtain state-specific sales data for their products. Despite initial retailer opposition for any proposal requiring retailers to collect such data, a trade association that represents several national retail chains has expressed support for a sales reporting requirement if the data is reported directly to manufacturers or suppliers. Manufacturers would be responsible for reporting the data to the agency.

2. Manufacturer Responsibility: In addition to the annual registration fee and reporting requirement, manufacturers would have the option of either: 1) paying a fee to cover the cost of collecting, transporting, and recycling their share, based on their retail sales by weight; or 2) collecting, transporting, and recycling themselves.

A manufacturer’s total responsibility for collection and recycling would be determined as follows:

  • The agency would set a state recycling rate, which is equivalent to the ratio of the weight of total overall returns of covered electronic devices in the state to the weight of total overall sales of CEDs in the state during the previous calendar year.

  • A manufacturer would be required to:

    1. Pay a fee calculated as the state recycling rate multiplied by the weight of the manufacturer’s CEDs sold in the state during the previous calendar year, multiplied by no more than $0.50 per pound; or

    2. Collect, transport, and recycle a quantity of CEDs equal to the weight of the manufacturer’s CEDs sold in the state during the previous calendar year, multiplied by the state recycling rate.

    Option “b” would require the manufacturer to submit a recovery plan to be approved by the agency. If a manufacturer failed to comply with all of the terms of an approved plan, it would be obliged to submit a payment covering the cost of collecting and recycling the unmet portion of its obligation, plus a penalty payment.

    Manufacturers would be eligible for “credits” if they collected and recycled in excess of their obligation, and could apply these credits to their obligation the following year, or sell them. Manufacturers would be prohibited from assessing end-of-life fees of any type.

    In theory, use of the state recycling rate as defined above should cover the costs of collection, transportation, and recycling of all discarded CEDs in a state in a given year. It should be noted that, in lieu of utilizing the state recycling rate, some state participants have indicated that they may prefer to opt for a fee based on total sales, by weight – or on a specific percentage of sales different from that derived from the above state recycling rate calculation. However, fees would still be based on sales, rather than on materials collected at the end-of-life.

3. Agency Responsibility: The state agency or a designated third party organization (TPO) would manage all funds and administer statewide collection and recycling programs. The agency would also be authorized to participate in the establishment and implementation of a regional, multi-state organization or compact to do the same.

4. Disposal Ban: The model legislation calls for a ban on disposal of CEDs in a municipal solid waste landfill two years following enactment, although some participants favored shortening the period from two years to as few as 90 days.

Phaseout of Toxic Constituents: Some legislative participants felt that the legislation should require a phaseout of toxic constituents. Participants discussed the possibility of mandating compliance with the provisions of Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS Directive), as is required in California’s e-waste law established by passage of SB 20 in 2003. RoHS would ban the use of certain hazardous substances in electronic equipment, with some important exemptions.

However, many participants were uncomfortable with the notion of requiring compliance with an EU directive. In addition, it is generally believed that, since all manufacturers who sell their products in the European Union must comply with RoHS when it takes effect in mid-2006, major electronics producers will be compelled to phase out their use of toxins in the coming months regardless of U.S. state mandates.

The participants decided that the model legislation remain silent on this issue.

Implementing the CSG Proposal in New York State

To implement the CSG/ERC process in New York, Assemblymember Colton has introduced two producer responsibility bills. One bill (A 3200-A) bases the financial share calculation on the producer share of annual sales by weight, while the second bill (A 11330) bases the financial share on the weight of the manufacturer’s products which are collected annually.

Both of these bills adopt the producer responsibility approach and both evolved from Chairman Colton’s participation in the CSG process. Since the issue of how the financing is to be calculated proved to be a difficult and contentious one, Assemblymember Colton believes the best chance for passing producer responsibility legislation is served by putting forth both the market share and return share proposals and seeing which proposal obtains the broadest support among the various stakeholder groups. Although neither bill reached the Assembly floor this year, the return share bill was favorably reported out of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee.

Status of State Electronics Recycling Legislation

States in the Northeast have initiated various proposals to deal with the problems of recovering electronic equipment and to prevent toxic components from contaminating the environment. The following summarizes these activities and initiatives in other States.

California: The California law uses an “advanced recovery fee” or ARF to finance the recycling program, which is collected at the time of sale of covered electronic devices (CEDs). This approach was rejected by the CSG/ERC project participants.

Connecticut: Sponsors plan to introduce the CSG model bill in January 2007.

Delaware: The CSG model bill was introduced in 2006. It passed the Senate and died in the House at the end of session. It will be re-introduced next year.

Maine: The Maine law represents shared responsibility between the manufacturers, the State and consumers. Municipalities operate and pay for collection sites for electronic equipment for consumers. End-of-life fees are charged for drop-off. Equipment is sent to a consolidation facility which ships the equipment to a recycler; manufacturers pay for this portion of the program.

Maryland: The Maryland law sets up a 5-year pilot program requiring all computer manufacturers to pay a flat fee of $5,000 this year in order to sell computers in the State. Subsequently the fee drops to $500 if manufacturers run their own collection program. If not, the fee remains at $5,000 annually.. A portion of the fee money is available for grants to municipalities that set up collection programs.

Massachusetts: The state enacted a disposal ban for cathode ray tubes (CRT’s) by regulation in 2001.

New Hampshire: The state enacted a disposal ban for video display devices in solid waste landfills and incinerators that will take effect on July 1, 2007.

New Jersey: A hybrid bill which requires an Advance Recovery Fee (ARF) for televisions and producer responsibility for computers has been introduced. This bill may become a full ARF for all covered electronic equipment. The CSG model bill may also be introduced in the next session.


New York: See article and chart for discussion of Assemblyman Colton’s new bills and bill descriptions.

Rhode Island: In 2006, the state enacted a disposal ban for certain electronic equipment was passed, taking effect in 2008.

Vermont: The October 2005 version of the CSG model bill was introduced.

Assemblymember Colton participates in the workshop on electronic equipment recycling at the 2006 Council of State Governments, Eastern Regional Conference Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.


SECTION RETURN SHARE -- A.11330 MARKET SHARE – A.3200-A (based on CSG-NERC Model)
System Description All manufacturers selling CEDs in the State must participate in one of two recycling programs:

(a) Manufacturers’ plan: producers institute and finance their own recycling program.

(b) DEC-administered plan: DEC develops and operates a CED collection, handling and recycling program, including fee collection and disbursement, for participating manufacturers who choose not to have their own collection program.

Covered Electronic Devices (CEDs) Desktop and laptop computers, computer monitors, portable computers, and CRT or flat-panel TVs with a viewable area greater than 4”. SAME
Covered Entities Households, school districts, not-for-profit corporations, and small businesses (10 or fewer employees). Anyone with one or more CEDs.
Collection of the CEDs (a) Manufacturer’s plan: manufacturers or their contractors are responsible for the collection.
(b) DEC plan: DEC or its contractors are responsible for the collection.
Annual Responsibility of Manufacturers Each manufacturer is responsible for-
  1. registration fee of $5,000; and

  2. collection, handling, and recycling of its share of CEDs by one or both of the following:

    1. (a) funding and implementing a program to collect, handle, and recycle all or part of its share in weight; or

    2. (b) paying the DEC a per pound fee on its full share or the unmet portion of its full share (when the manufacturer operates a plan but doesn’t cover its entire share)

Share Determination DEC and Manufacturer plans must periodically sample the returns to establish the portion of returned CED’s attributable to each manufacturer. The return share for each manufacturer is the percentage that its CED’s represent among those returned CEDs from identifiable in-business manufacturers.

Annually, each manufacturer’s return share in weight is calculated by multiplying its return share for the previous year by the overall CEDs collected in the previous year.

For the first program year, a manufacturer’s return share will be based on the best available information.

Each manufacturer must annually report the weight of CEDs Usold Uin the State in the previous year. For those not reporting, DEC will calculate their total weight of CEDs sold in the State by using national sales data prorated by State vs. national population.

Annually, each manufacturer’s share in weight of CEDs sold is calculated by multiplying the the weight of the manufacturer’s CEDs sold in the State the previous year by the State’s recycling rate for all CEDs for the previous year (calculated by DEC ).

Retailer Responsibility Retailers provide CED purchasers with DEC’s toll-free number and website for information on recycling opportunities. Retailers are also required to post information provided by DEC that describes where and how to recycle CEDs.
Management Requirement DEC must establish performance standards for environmentally sound management by collectors, transporters and recyclers that implement the DEC or manufacturers’ plans. Audits of recyclers used for manufacturers’ plans are required, and may be required for recyclers used for DEC’s plan, to assess compliance. DEC must establish rules for performance standards for environmentally sound management for collectors, transporters, and recyclers used to implement the DEC plan. At a minimum, the requirements include EPA’s Guide on Environmentally Sound Management of Electronic Devices.
Orphan Products Automatically covered by all identified in-business manufacturers according to their share of non-orphan CEDs returned. Automatically covered by all identified in-business manufacturers according to their market share of CEDs.
Labeling Requirement Each covered product must be labeled with the manufacturer’s brand. SAME
Recovery Goals None DEC is required to establish regional recovery goals for the State.
Sales Prohibition A manufacturer who has not filed a registration with the DEC is prohibited from offering a CED for sale in NYS. A manufacturer who is not fully compliant with the requirements of the Act is prohibited from offering a CED for sale in NYS.
Disposal Ban Disposal of CEDs prohibited beginning January 1, 2008. Disposal of CEDs or any component thereof prohibited beginning two years after the effective date.
Note: Differences shown in italicized print

Electronic Equipment Recycling Legislation
Introduced By Assemblyman Colton

Assenblymember Colton introduced a series of bill several years ago to require and facilitate the recovery of unwanted electronic equipment. As described in the article on the CSG/ERC legislation development process, Assemblymember Colton also introduced two new bills in 2006, requiring producer responsibility for electronic equipment recycling, using market share and return share financing mechanisms respectively.

  • A 1454/S1287: Establishes the framework for a statewide electronic equipment recycling program. Passed Assembly/Senate EnCon Committee

  • A 1455/S1563: Requires DEC to develop guidelines and standards for electronic equipment recyclers. Passed Assembly/Senate EnCon Committee.

  • A 3334/S1562: Establishes a personal income tax credit for any fees charged for electronic equipment recycling. Assembly Ways & Means/Senate Investigations Committees.

  • A 3200/S 7165: Original “producer responsibility” bill for recovery of unwanted electronic equipment. Amended as A 3200-A in 2006 to become the new Market Share proposal for electronics recycling. Assembly EnCon/Senate Rules.

  • A 11330/S8181: Alternative producer responsibility bill bases the financial responsibility of manufacturers on the rate of CEDs collected or returned for recycling. Favorably reported from Assembly EnCon to Assembly Codes/Senate Rules.

photo Assemblymember Colton visits the NYS Office of General Services computer recycling program.

Limited Regulation Of Wireless
Telephones Disposal Enacted


For the past several years, Assemblyman Colton introduced legislation (A3390) that would have required all retailers selling wireless telephones to:

  • accept such phones back at no charge, and

  • post a sign announcing that such telephones were accepted back at no charge.

The bill would also have prohibited the disposal or incineration of wireless phones.

This year, the Senate would only agree to a compromise bill (S 8182-A/A 11985) that will:

  • require wireless telephone service suppliers selling wireless phones at retail to accept up to 10 phones at no charge, or

  • offer free shipping of the wireless phones to a recycler.

It is the responsibility of the wireless telephone service supplier to take reasonable steps to ensure that the phones are recycled, reused or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. There is no ban on the disposal or incineration of wireless phones. The bill has been sent to the Governor.

photo Assemblymember Colton debates in the Assembly chamber in support of his bill to encourage the recycling of wireless telephones.

New York City Adopts New
Solid Waste Management Plan

Environmental and Community Impacts of Marine Transfer Stations Continue to Raise Concerns

The Mayor and City Council have finally reached agreement on a new long-term Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) amidst continued debate over the best way to manage waste. Plan proponents believe it will substantially improve waste management practices in the City, based on criteria for environmental responsibility, economic viability, and fairness. The perceived benefits include each borough managing its fair share of waste, and decreased truck traffic and air pollution.

The interim plan has long caused major traffic and air quality problems for communities near transfer stations, bridges and tunnels where waste-bearing trucks line up to pick up and export waste for disposal outside of the City.

When Fresh Kills landfill began its closure in the late nineties, the City administration adopted the current interim plan, but due to increasing problems, soon proposed a new long-term plan. This proposal never gained acceptance due to its reliance on the private sector to site, build, and operate marine transfer stations (MTSs) to dispose of DOS-managed waste and its inadequate recycling program.

In 2002, a new version of a long-term SWMP was released, which included restoration and retrofit of eight inactive marine transfer stations (MTSs) for waste containerization and barging. The proposal was considered a clear improvement in fairness among boroughs as well as environmental and health benefits by eliminating millions of miles of trucks waste-hauling, to be replaced by more efficient barges and trains. A revised draft plan emerged in 2004, with four of the MTSs replaced with truck-to-rail waste transfer operations. Since that time, debate has continued throughout the City, particularly from neighborhoods where MTSs were proposed for reactivation.

Members of the city Council strongly advocated for greater recycling initiatives. The new Plan includes electronic scrap and household hazardous waste collection, as well as an expanded composting program. Recycling bins will be placed in parks, subway stations, and commercial areas. In response to Council members’ dissatisfaction with the Department of Sanitation’s implementation of the City’s recycling program, the Plan establishes a new independent Office of Recycling Outreach and Education responsible for encouraging all city residents and businesses to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible.

A much-improved, long-term contract has been signed with recycler Hugo Neu, the company currently taking the City’s glass, plastic and metal, with a commitment to invest in a new 100-employee facility in the City.

The final Plan was recently submitted to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for its approval; the Department has 60 days to respond with comments. A copy of the Plan is available at the New York City website

Assemblymember Colton is joined by Community leaders and concerned citizens at the rally opposing the location of a marine transfer station at the site of the old southwest Brooklyn incinerator.
Assemblyman Colton stated “I believe it is wrong to build Marine Transfer Stations in residential and recreational areas. The old incinerator site in Bensonhurst contains toxic contaminants that would be dredged, potentially damaging beaches and releasing pollutants into the bay. Even the Department of Sanitation has concluded that the bay has one of the richest fish diversities in the area. Additional concerns include increased truck traffic and the impacts and adequacy of the proposed 300 foot sea wall. All of these issues need to be carefully evaluated before making a final decision to utilize the Bensonhurst site as a MTS.”

Assembly Provides Record Increase In Environmental Program Funding For FY 2006-2007

The Legislature passed an on-time budget by April 1st, the beginning of the 2006-2007 State fiscal year. At that time, the Budget did not include an allocation of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) since the Legislature was unable to reach an agreement with the Governor. However, near the end of the regular session in June, the Legislature and the Governor agreed to a record $225 million for the EPF, an increase of $75 million over the 2005-2006 funding. The additional funds will be used to fund the backlog of environmental projects as well as some important new initiatives including:

  • Ocean and Great Lakes Projects ($3 million),
  • Invasive Species Programs ($3.25 million), and
  • Water Quality Improvement Projects ($7 million).

Allocations from the EPF Solid Waste Account include record amounts for:

  • municipal recycling and waste reduction projects ($8.75 million), and
  • secondary materials market development and waste prevention projects ($8.75 million).

Three million dollars was also allocated for municipal landfill closure projects. For further information concerning these programs, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website ( or contact the Commission.

Assemblymember Colton, a member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, participating in the Joint Legislative Hearings on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Budget for FY 2006-2007.

EPF Recycling Approp’s from FY 99/00 to FY 06/07
(millions of $)
EPF Category FY99-00 FY00-01 FY01-02 FY02-03 FY03-04 FY04-05 FY05-06 FY06-07
Municipal Recycling Governor’s Recommendation 4.500 6.225 4.100 3.750 4.000 5.000 5.000 6.000
Enacted 4.500 6.225 5.225 5.000 6.500 6.500 7.000 8.750
Secondary Materials Governor’s Recommendation 4.500 5.000 3.000 3.750 4.000 5.000 5.000 6.000
Enacted 4.500 5.000 5.225 4.995 6.500 6.500 7.000 8.750


The Bigger, Better Bottle Bill Passes The Assembly – Again Senate Fails To Take Action

Once again, the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill (A2517) passed the Assembly in 2006. This bill would expand the existing law to include bottled water, iced tea, juices and sports drinks in disposable containers. These additional types of beverages now make up more than 21% of beverage sales, with bottled water sales growing faster than any other beverages. It is estimated that non-deposit beverage containers make up nearly two-thirds of the bottles and cans littering New York’s shorelines. The original Bottle Bill has been one of New York’s most effective recycling initiatives, with an average statewide return rate of 70%. During the first year this law took effect, the State experienced a 70% reduction in beverage container litter. The Bigger, Better Bottle Bill will continue to be an Assembly priority.

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To further our efforts to reduce waste, please inform us if you have a change in address by calling us at
(518) 455-3711, fax at (518) 455-3837 or
write us at:
The LCSWM, 4 Empire State Plaza, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12248

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