Regulating Electronic Waste in New York City Advisor: Steve Cohen

At the briefing, team members presented their work as consultants to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), analyzing the proposed New York City Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act. The group examined existing programs in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, Japan and the European Union and surveyed the views of stakeholders in the legislation. The team reported concerns regarding the impact on existing markets, as well as a preference for a national policy versus a patchwork of stand-alone programs.

Recommendations for implementation included assigning the costs of recycling to manufacturers, and allowing companies which already run their own programs, such as Xerox, to continue doing so. Companies without standing policies would have to comply with the Act. The students recommended setting target levels for the collection and recycling of hazardous materials, and reassessing targets if needed. They also identified logistical concerns which included: who will regulate compliance; educating consumers about how programs will work; the transition period; and quantifying costs and benefits.

see workshop presentation [flashpaper]

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