E-Recycling is Garbage

I was interviewed by the Heartland Institute for an article on New York City’s new law mandating recycling of electronic equipment. A key part of the e-recycling bill, as it was originally proposed, would have required manufacturers to take back their products for recycling free of charge, but that provision was scrapped (no pun intended). Since they interview me for the article before the bill was revised and most of the quotes from me that the writer chose to use had to do with that excised provision, the article is a bit confusing, IMO.

“The city is attempting to force manufacturers to recycle electronics, which it has no authority to do,” said Jim Lesczynski, media relations director for the Manhattan Libertarian Party.

New York City “is refusing to [implement] curbside electronics recycling for residents,” Lesczynski said, even though the city’s Department of Sanitation has a monopoly on waste removal within the city.

“In a free market, some private sanitation companies may also refuse to pick up electronics, but competitors would surely step in to provide a needed service,” Lesczynski said.

Lesczynski said such a market-based solution in the New York proposal is currently out of the question because the city “actually [makes] it illegal to ‘steal’ garbage set out for recycling.”

The new law goes into effect in 2012 and impose fines of $100 on citizens who fail to recycle their electronics.

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