By Linda L. Zimmerman
On September 13, 2006, the State of New York passed legislation S-8182-A requiring New York cell phone service providers to post signs stating they accept cell phones and that they recycle and properly dispose of them at no charge to the customer. Consumers, retailers and manufacturers who don’t comply with the disposal ban will be fined.
Effective January 1, 2008, the New York State Wireless Recycling Act became law and making it unlawful for a retailer to sell a cell phone in New York State without having a cell phone recycling plan in place. The seller must accept up to 10 phones from any person or provide shipping for those phones. These phones can be used for recycling or reuse.
The New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation website states that improper disposal of cell phones can harm the environment and become potentially detrimental to humans and wildlife because they contain many hazardous materials such as mercury and lead. For more information on these chemicals, visit www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8818.html