Since January 1, 2015, the city has banned the disposal of electronics in regular trash and recycling, forcing most New Yorkers to take items like televisions, computers, and DVD players to drop-off locations throughout the city. In Queens, there are less than 20 drop-off spots.
Last week, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced the Curbside E-Waste Collection program, which allows residents to call and request a time for electronics to be picked up, will expand to northeast Queens.
There is no fee. Appointments are Monday through Friday and can be made by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/electronics.
“You don’t have to be home,” said DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, Sanitation commissioner. “We want to make it as convenient as possible for you.”
She also assured people it is secure.
“We're certified to handle any information that comes in and make sure it can't leave our facility until it's destroyed,” Garcia explained. “So any hard drives will either be wiped or shredded down to particle size to make sure that there's no potential release of any of your pictures or anything like that.”
Garcia explained that not all corded objects will be picked up. For instance, DSNY will not accept microwaves, but they will accept televisions and computer equipment. For a full list, Garcia recommends viewing the DSNY website under Services and Overview Electronics Guidelines.
“This is going to translate to the recovery and responsible recycling of millions of pounds of waste that’s previously been stored,” said Councilman Paul Vallone. “It’s guaranteed a lot of people are just hoarding them because they don't know what to do with it.”