European readers will probably not believe me when I tell we can throw electronics, such as computers and TV’S in the trash here in New York. At least, it will not be illegal till this day is over! New York City has Electronics Recycling enforced now. It takes some time, but we are getting there, and the New Yorkers seem to accept the changes and their responsibilities towards the environment.
We all received a brochure in the mail a couple of weeks ago. In the leaflet, our Sanitation Department announced that we can no longer put our electronics in the normal garbage. So no more obsolete TV’s, slow computers and old Playstation in the bin. I was under the impression that would have been illegal for years, but it turns out it wasn’t. Tomorrow however, we’re part of the responsible citizens of the world who keep these items aside.
Starting January 2015, electronics will be collected separately, and be recycled. Apartments in New York City can decide to join a collection system, where the goods will be picked up at the building. New Yorkers who live in single family homes or smaller units, can bring their used electronics to stores such as Staples. These will be the collection points.
Since batteries had to be kept out of the garbage, retailers have been collection points. So it’s not at al unusual to see them stepping up for the electronics. Creating large city-managed collection points is not that easy in New York city. Especially in Manhattan, where space is scarce.New York, and the USA, seems to catch up with some ecological mindset when creating new legislation. It’s still more focused on recycling, rather than avoiding waste all together, but it shows that the minds are shifting. Being green and responsible becomes important for more New Yorkers. Rather than creating more waste in the landfills, the idea of recycling is gaining ground. Hopefully, the idea of reducing waste by consuming less, and by reusing rather than reusing will become more popular. The plastic bags fee and this new law will lead the way.
It’s a small step, but it’s a step forward. It helps a city with 8.4 million people take up responsibility towards the other current and future inhabitants of this planet. And since the recent set back of the compost program, we can use a new success. The compost program, initiated by Mayor Bloomberg in 2013, had to be stopped last October when Peninsula, the company that ran the compost facility was shut down. The lack of discipline in what was composted made the odor of the plant a nuisance for the neighborhood where it operated. The government had to shut the facility down. The city is looking into alternatives and must address the contents of the compost.
Oh, and the European readers of the blog: before you start gniffling about how long it took those americans to get their recycled house in order: the New York Times published an article yesterday showing how bad the air quality in Europe is compared to the USA. It seems to be a matter of priorities: what to address first. But on both sides of the ocean: keep up the good work in the next year, and keep the good initiatives coming!