And this is only the beginning, as the restrictions and enforcements ramp up each year.
New York Passes Strict E-waste Law - Earth911.com It has been hailed as “the most progressive, best researched e-waste bill in country” by the Natural Resources Defense Council. While New York is the 23rd state to pass an e-waste law, this new legislation is more stringent, holding both manufacturers and consumers responsible for disposing electronic waste. Starting in April 2011, manufacturers across the state must offer free programs allowing consumers to drop off their items for proper disposal. Manufacturers will also be prohibited from dumping e-waste in landfills. That same rule will go into effect for consumers starting Jan. 15, 2015. According to The New York Times, the state will mandate the amount of electronic waste each company is required to recycle or reuse annually. This number is based on each manufacturer’s market share of electronics sales in New York. I can almost hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those struck dumb by yet another rule and regulation restricting their lives. Because there are those who believe that they should have unfettered freedom to do as they please, there will be continual fights over any kind of regulations—regardless of their necessity. And, if that mean tossing their toxic electronic waste (TV’s and other E-waste have lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals that are very toxic to humans and other life) so be it. Complete freedom to dump anything anywhere would make sense if we lived on a magical planet where all the stuff we discarded got magically taken away, broken down into good stuff, and never came back to haunt us. But that isn’t the case on this planet, which is ruled by physics not people’s opinions. Let’s be honest, our sense of freedom must change because our stuff is piling up: Ocean garbage: Floating landmines | A new B.C. study found 36,000 pieces of debris along our coastline. Experts say it's just the 'tip of the iceberg' of a problem that's growing alongside our demand for disposable goods. No matter where you travel on the B.C. coast, no matter how remote or seemingly untrammelled and pristine the fiord or inlet, a piece of plastic, Styrofoam or other garbage has been there before you. God knows how it got there: Dumped recklessly off a vessel, swept down a river or through a storm drain, blown by the wind off the land, or brought in by the ocean currents flowing across the vast North Pacific - including debris from the Japanese tsunami, which could start arriving on our coast in two years. (SunMarch 19, 2011) Vancouver Sun | Latest Breaking News | Business | Sports | Canada Daily News
Our new E-waste law in New York is an attempt to stop toxic E-waste from going into our landfill. It would be great if everyone had disposed of their E-waste properly and got it recycled, and the manufacturers made sure they could take their stuff back, but only a few did. Thus, we have to protect our environment and urge businesses and citizens to take responsibility by ramping up our laws. Here’s the law:
The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation “The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (PDF) (39 kB) (Article 27, Title 26 of the Environmental Conservation Law) was signed into law by the Governor on May 28, 2010. The law will ensure that every New Yorker will have the opportunity to recycle their electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner. The law requires manufacturers to establish a convenient system for the collection, handling, and recycling or reuse of electronic waste. Manufacturers of covered electronic equipment (CEE) will be responsible for implementing and maintaining an acceptance program for the discarded electronic waste, with oversight by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department).”
So, this may all seem very intrusive to your tastes. More and more regulations and more restrictions on your life and business, but think about it: Given the past history of pollution and Brownfields (where industries just pickup and leave toxic land for the public to clean up after them), do you really want the environmental constraints pulled away from the public and business.
Do you really want anyone to drill for anything, anywhere after the BP Oil Spill? Do you really want the Environmental Protection Agency gutted so everyone can just do what they please without being monitored, licensed, and not held accountable? Is this the world you want, a kind of childish freedom with no responsibility to future generations? Already, we are being held hostage to a few who think we can have a sustainable existence by taking away the environmental officials:
Michigan vs. California: The global warming smackdown continues - Global warming - Salon.com Senator Debbie Stabenow joins the cripple-the-EPA crowd. Got to keep those tailpipes polluting!“ Brad Johnson has a useful update on the various EPA-crippling Senate amendments under consideration this week. Environmentalists have a right to be nervous -- more than a handful of Senate Democrats are already on record supporting efforts to stop the EPA from enforcing limits on greenhouse gas emissions, which strongly suggests that it won't be too hard for Republicans to get 60 votes in favor of gutting the EPA. (The Senate was supposed to vote on the amendments on Thursday, but a squabble with Sen. Coburn, R-Okla. has gummed up the works.)”(March 31, 2011)
This world is getting really crazy. We believe that our wishes and desire have co-opted our need for a healthy environment.