July 22, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $3 Million For Electronic Waste Recycling

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $3 Million For...

Grants Will Offer Municipalities Relief from Unexpected Financial Costs

Part of Record $300 Million Investment in Environmental Protection Fund Included in FY2017 State Budget

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $3 million is available from the Environmental Protection Fund in grants to assist municipalities in New York State with recent, unexpected costs of collection and recycling of eligible electronic wastes. New York State consumers are required to recycle electronic waste, such as computers, keyboards, televisions, and small electronic equipment, in an environmentally responsible manner. These grants, part of the FY2017 State Budget’s record $300 million investment in the Environmental Protection Fund, will mitigate the growing unexpected financial costs so that municipalities can recycle electronic waste efficiently and sustainably.

“New York State is a leader in protecting the environment and promoting sustainability, and the responsible recycling of electronic waste is an essential component of these efforts," Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will provide resources across the state to ensure cleaner communities for all.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Governor Cuomo recognizes the importance of New York’s e-waste recycling laws to help protect our environment. The governor also recognizes the challenges local governments face in addressing e-waste in their communities. This critical EPF funding will provide municipalities the support and flexibility they need to address e-waste.”

Senator Tom O'Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "This year's action to strengthen and fully fund the Environmental Protection Fund is one of the most important actions we've ever taken in New York government for the benefit of local economies, environments and taxpayers. Here's another example of why. The recycling of electronic waste has become extremely burdensome and costly for local governments and property taxpayers. This new funding will help reduce this burden immediately and we need to keep working to address this challenge on a long-term basis through regulatory reform. So I look forward to continue working with and urging Governor Cuomo and his administration on short- and long-term actions which make important fiscal, economic and environmental sense locally, regionally and statewide.”

Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, “These grants came about as a direct result of a hearing held by the Environmental Conservation Committee, during which municipalities raised concerns regarding the costs of the disposal of E-waste, as well as the manufacturer’s compliance with the law. Working with the Governor and the Senate, we were able to secure funds to ease the burden of E-waste collection and recycling on municipalities.”

Peter A. Baynes, Executive Director of the New York State Conference of Mayors, said, "At a time when cities and villages are being forced to make very difficult choices, this $3 million for e-waste recycling will help to eliminate one of those choices, allowing them to be environmentally responsible by ensuring that electronics are properly disposed of within their communities. Giving local governments the resources to address one of the fastest growing waste streams will go a long way toward improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers."

Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties, said, “Local governments and their taxpayers have been picking up the cost of disposal for electronic waste. This is not the intent of the present law. I commend Governor Cuomo for dedicating state resources to help ease the burden on local taxpayers and encourage all parties to implement an improved disposal system in New York State.”

Gerry Geist, Executive Director of the Association of Towns, said, “Town officials recognize that properly recycling old computers and televisions is essential to protecting our environment. We are pleased that the State is offering financial assistance to local governments to help consumers properly recycle electronic waste.”  

This grant program will be administered through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Household Hazardous Waste State Assistance Program. Municipalities will be eligible for reimbursement of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses incurred for collection and recycling of e-waste between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. Application materials, guidance documents, and important information for Electronic Waste Assistance Grants are available on the Department of Environmental Conservation website. The Department of Environmental Conservation will accept applications for funding from October 3 to October 31, 2016.

As of January 1, 2015, all New York State consumers must recycle e-waste, such as computers, computer peripherals, televisions, small scale servers, and small electronic equipment. The 2010 Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act has resulted in diversion of more than 400 million pounds of e-waste from landfills to reuse and recycling between 2011 and 2015. The amount of e-waste generated continues to grow, adding to the complexities of the collection process and creating unanticipated financial pressures on local governments that collect e-waste.

The 2016-17 State Budget includes a record level of $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, the highest level in the fund’s history and an increase of $138 million since Governor Cuomo took office.

For questions about E-Waste Assistance Grants, email [email protected] or contact the Department of Environmental Conservation at 518-402-8678.

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