NYC considers tough e-waste bill

One of the toughest electronic-waste bills in the U.S. was introduced in the New York City Council yesterday. It would require producers of electronic equipment like computers and televisions to collect and recycle those devices — that is, if they want to maintain selling rights within the city. City officials like council member Michael E. McMahon, one of the bill’s cosponsors, say the legislation is intended to introduce “producer responsibility” into the equation. They hope it will save New Yorkers money on disposal costs and spare landfills from heavy metals like lead, chromium, and mercury, all of which can leach out of discarded electronic equipment. Called “pretty onerous” by one electronics industry honcho, the proposed law would require by 2010 that manufacturers collect and recycle the equivalent of 30 percent of the equipment they sell, or make up for it by donating used equipment to schools and nonprofit groups.