Local governments and associations throughout the state are calling on the electronics industry to withdraw its lawsuit against the New York City e-waste recycling law.

California governments are calling the lawsuit a direct challenge to state and local government efforts to protect public health and the environment.

The e-waste law puts the responsibility on electronics manufacturers for financing effective takeback services (collecting and recycling old electronic products) for all the products they are selling in those states.

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) filed the lawsuit, arguing that the New York City e-waste recycling law passed in April 2008 is unconstitutional.

State and local government representatives from 18 states sent a letter to both the ITIC and the Consumer Electronics Association to express their support for those local laws being challenged.

“While this lawsuit was filed against New York City, it’s a direct challenge to the ability of states to pass takeback laws on any product such as the law California passed in 2008 for mercury thermostats,” said Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of CPSC, who co-sponsored the bill in a press release. 

The release stated that, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the cost of collecting, recycling and disposing of just hazardous products easily exceeds $500 million a year just in California. Local governments are hoping EPR laws will shift costs and drive green design of products.

“Our state is poised to pass takeback legislation on paint (AB 1343- Huffman) and the California Product Stewardship Act (AB 283 – Chesbro) in 2010 and we hope the courts don’t undermine our work to protect the environment and public health,” Sanborn stated in the release.

James Spencer can be reached at jspencer@publicceo.com