SSFF: "NY e-Waste Law is a Disaster?"

Live Presentation by NYDEC
I'm 'live blogging' during a presentation by Mark M. of NYDEC here at the NY SW Federation conference (Sagamore).   Slide one:   NY legislation allows OEMs to claim tonnage from businesses with fewer than 50 employees, colleges, and schools.

Missing slide:  NYDEC does not release the numbers for obligations for the OEMs (as of May), and tells them there is no penalty for not meeting tonnage the first year.  If the manufacturer doesn't know how many tons they are obligated to collect, well, they will pay for the CHEAP tons (computers not curbside TVs).  Our expensive TV recycling is without a "sponsor".

Missing slide:  Outcome - My company drops its largest municipal contract.  After not getting paid for months, we can't expect the OEMs to pay us if they don't have their obligations released.  We should have dropped the TV tonnage months ago and concentrated only on business and college institutional tonnage.

Missing slide:  We were suckers to collect curbside TVs for as long as we did.

Bitter?  Moi?  I'm just reporting on the sour grape harvest from here on the front lines.  I'm sure they have plenty of reasons to call this NY Product stewardship law a success.   But there are signs that they don't know what they are doing, and are making it up as they go along.

The first thing they make up as they go along is tonnage obligation for manufacturers.

This is what comes about when state officials sit and make up numbers and estimates to assign OEMs.   From our narrow point of view as a recycler, I would say that Stewardship in NY is a disaster.  It would be hard enough to sell expensive tonnage we've collected to manufacturers when they can buy "less expensive" goal tonnage from schools and businesses (without CRT televisions).   There is no difference between a ton of laptops and a ton of PCs and a ton of wooden console televisions in NY.  And the best way for a manufacturer to show "convenience" (geographic service) on a map is to drop cell phone reverse vending machines in difficult areas.

When you add that the OEMs don't even know their tonnage obligations, or face any penalty if they under-commit, you get a mess, at least for a small business like mine.  We hauled trailer after trailer of dirty, wet, curbside collected TVs from Long Island.. it was our largest single account.  But I can't keep a program where I don't get paid until the state officials figure out what the manufacturer obligations are.

What are the successes?  The East Coast states (with the possible exceptions of CT) are pro-reuse.  They have not passed the "export boycott" systems in place in California, Oregon and Washington (either actual bans or effective disincentives).  Some bigger e-waste companies are getting a lot of business, and if the financial issues do work out and they do get paid... well, yep, I'm talking about "sour grapes".

I'll post what "SSFF" means in a couple of days...  Hint:   It's not "Started Second, Finished First".

Also presented... a photo I took of my own demanufactured scrap - in another person's presentation, who had no clue the photographer was sitting in the front row.  Not only uncredited, but I'd submitted a proposal to run their one day events, and she talked about disqualifying companies (like mine proposed) which use temps to run events.  Only our photos are accepted...  It's all in good fun, I'm not a professional photographer and tend to put photos up for "fair use".  Unlike another group (whose photo of a lonely Chinese child sitting on wires she also used).

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rahul said...
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