- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City has collected more than 860,000 pounds of computers, cellphones and other electronics since its recycling program started in November 2013, officials said Wednesday.

One million New Yorkers live in buildings that are signed up for pickup of electronics waste including computers, cellphones, TVs, printers and video game consoles, Department of Sanitation officials said.

“The program is a true partnership with support from manufacturers, labor unions, property owners and management companies,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “We’re proud to have set an example for the entire nation and look forward to the continued success of this important initiative.”

A New York state law that took effect Jan. 1 bans the disposal of electronic waste for environmental reasons. The law does not apply to batteries or light bulbs, which can be thrown out with the trash.

Under the city program called e-cycleNYC, apartment buildings with at least 10 units can sign up for on-site pickup of electronic items.

Contractor Electronic Recyclers International disposes of the material, in some cases breaking the components up to make new devices.

“We are honored to have co-created this constructive collaboration and this historic and successful partnership with the great city of New York and forward-thinking manufacturers such as Samsung and LG,” John Shegerian, the company’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

The Department of Sanitation says 2,500 buildings have enrolled in the program so far and 100 new buildings are signing up each week.

New Yorkers who don’t live in buildings with pickup of discarded electronics can bring them to retailers such as Best Buy or to scheduled Department of Sanitation disposal events.

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This story has been corrected to show the contracted company is Electronic Recyclers International, not Electronic Waste International.

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