Electronic equipment is produced with heavy metals. To keep lead, mercury and cadmium from compromising our ecosystem, New York State banned disposal of certain electronics, and in 2015 we began issuing $100 fines to people who put electronic equipment at the curb for disposal. To make compliance easier, we expanded DSNY’s electronics recycling program and hold SAFE Disposal events.
Types of Banned Equipment
The following equipment is banned from disposal in New York State:
Cell phones should also be recycled or donated, since their internal, rechargeable batteries can’t be thrown in the garbage. All wireless providers must accept old cell phones for recycling – or you can help victims of domestic violence through the national HopeLine program by dropping off your old phone and charger at a Verizon Wireless retail store.
ecycleNYC + Pick-up at Apartment Buildings
ecycleNYC is a free and convenient recycling service provided by DSNY and ERI. Electronics are recycled domestically following the strictest industry and environmental standards. Plus, it’s safe: As part of this recycling process, all data will be fully erased. These types of products can be recycled:
For residents interested in participating in ecycleNYC, apartment buildings can receive free service:
When it's time for a pick-up, a building manager or staff member can call (212) 437-4647 or email ecycleNYC@dsny.nyc.gov. Pick-up is guaranteed within five business days.
Learn more about ecycleNYC.
E-Waste Collection Pilot
This pilot program provides curbside collection of electronics for Staten Island and North Brooklyn residents, by appointment. Request a pickup
Other Electronics + Helpful Information
Electronic equipment not specifically covered by local or state regulations (such as loose cables, cameras, GPS devices and microwaves) can be discarded with garbage.
Buy electronics made with fewer hazardous chemicals. Products rated as EPEAT Gold, Silver, or Bronze meet certain product and manufacturer standards. EPEAT stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool and is an on-line tool that compares computer desktops, laptops and monitors based on their environmental attributes.
Where To Recycle Electronics
Retailers. Most retailers will take your old TV or computer when they deliver your new one.
Drop-Off. The Salvation Army and the Lower East Side Ecology Center's Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse accept electronics. Goodwill accepts electronics other than large, old televisions. Apple stores accept any Apple products. Best Buy accepts electronics, including tube TVs under 32 inches and flat-panel TVs under 50 inches. Staples accepts electronics other than TVs. (Fees may apply.)
Special Waste Sites. Bring electronics to designated Special Waste Drop-Off Sites in each borough.
Donate or Sell. Visit donateNYC to sell or donate working electronics.
Mail-Back. Many brands offer free mail-back options; check your brand’s website or see the list of electronic equipment manufacturers registered in New York State. If a manufacturer will not recycle your electronics, report the company to the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation online or call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332).