Recycle Your E-Waste in Manhattan—For Free

If you live on Manhattan island and you’re feeling as guilty as I am for throwing out your old laptop and other electronic devices–or hoarding them in your small apartment because you don’t want to add toxic chemicals to landfills here or in China–relief is coming soon. Starting January 4 and continuing all month, you can opt in to free e-waste pickups either at your home or at your place of business. The program is being instituted by The 4th Bin, the folks who sponsored the successful 4th Bin competition last fall (check out my note on the winners). All you need to do is fill out the forms posted on their site, and you’ll learn what happens next.

In addition, the group is working with City Harvest, the organization that feeds 1.4 million New Yorkers from high-quality foods donated by restaurants, farms, and manufacturers. To that end, The 4th Bin will take your old cell phones and PDAs and direct any proceedings from these collected devices to the well-regarded food bank; click here for details.

In 2005, New York City alone threw out some 250,000 tons of electronic trash. That’s a frightening number when you think about e-waste’s potential for poisoning our groundwater, as well as for squandering some highly-sought-after industrial materials like copper. Behind the new bin design and the upcoming collection program is Valiant Technology, a young tech-support firm founded seven years ago by four socially conscious friends. Their initiative was originally propelled by the city’s announcement that, come July 1, 2010, our e-waste will need to be recycled (the sanitation department will no longer pick up your old TVs, computers, cell phones, other electronic gadgets.) This program will surely have resonance in other cities just as rich in e-waste as we are here in New York. What’s your solution?

Update: NYC E-Waste Pickups Expand to Brooklyn

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