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DEC announces second chance for $3 million in e-waste recycling grants

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Wed, Dec 21st 2016 02:10 pm

Grants will help municipalities collect and recycle e-waste

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced a second round of grant funding from the Environmental Protection Fund is being made available to help municipalities across the state address costs associated with the collection and recycling of eligible electronic wastes (e-waste).

The recently completed application period in October generated $1.2 million in grant requests, leaving almost $1.8 million available for a second-chance opportunity that will be held in January for municipalities that missed the initial application period. DEC will accept applications for second chance opportunity funding from Jan. 2-31.

"Gov. Cuomo recognizes the importance of New York's e-waste recycling laws to help protect our environment," Seggos said. "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 necessary to address e-waste and keep it out of our waterways and landfills."

As of April 1, 2011, manufacturers are required to implement programs for consumers to recycle e-waste, such as computers, keyboards, televisions and other small electronic equipment, in an environmentally responsible manner. Beginning in 2015, all consumers were prohibited from disposing of e-waste.

These grants will help mitigate unanticipated costs municipalities may face in receiving and managing electronic wastes. Funding to support the program has been made available through the 2016-17 state budget's record investment of $300 million in the EPF, the highest level in the fund's history and an increase of $138 million since Cuomo took office.

New York State Sen. 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 Gov. 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, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "In communities across New York state, e-waste recycling drop-off events are collecting record amounts of outdated computers, keyboards, TVs and printers. Both residents and local municipalities want to do the right thing and dispose of these e-wastes in an environmentally responsible manner. This grant program will help defray the financial costs so that municipalities and residents can properly recycle electronic wastes."

DEC's household hazardous waste state assistance program will continue to administer the grant application process. Municipalities may receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses incurred for 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 DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/107384.html.

The 2010 Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act has resulted in diversion of more than 400 million pounds of e-waste from landfills for 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.

For questions about e-waste assistance grants, email [email protected] or contact DEC at 518-402-8678.

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