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New York City E-Waste Recycled, Local Law Proposed

New Yorkers turned Lincoln Center into a giant electronics recycling and swap center over the weekend.

More than 8,000 pounds of computers, printers, cell phones, cables and other electronics equipment -- that would otherwise go into garbage trucks and landfills -- passed through the center Sunday, according to New York City Council Member Gale Brewer.

The event, organized and supported by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the Upper West Side Recycling Center, also provided a forum for supporters of a municipal Electronics Recycling and Reuse Act.

The act, which is headed for a council vote, would require electronics manufacturers to recycle their own products or make them available for reuse through a free "take-back" system. Brewer, who sponsored the event, said the amount of electronics recycled in one day shows a "tremendous need" for city legislation creating a convenient and reliable recycling system.

Nearly 34,000 tons of electronic waste and small appliances traveled through New York City's waste stream in 2004, according to the Waste Characterization Study undertaken by the Department of Sanitation. New York City is paying $191 per ton of waste, or $6.4 million a year, to export these materials to neighboring states for disposal in landfills or incineration in Newark, N.J.

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