O’Mara: E-waste recycling grant program for municipalities to begin in October ~ Calls funding through this year’s EPF critical ~ (UPDATE, August 4: 'Steuben to seek e-waste grant to save free program')

Elmira, N.Y., July 22--State Senator Tom O’Mara R,C,I-Big Flats), chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, today alerted Southern Tier and Finger Lakes municipalities that $3 million in state grants through the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) will be made available this fall to help localities statewide offset the unanticipated costs of collecting and recycling eligible electronic wastes.

The announcement of this fall’s application process was made earlier today by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who noted that New York consumers are required to recycle electronic waste, such as computers, keyboards, televisions, and small electronic equipment, in an environmentally responsible manner. The new grants are aimed at assisting municipalities facilitate the efficient and sustainable collection and recycling of electronic waste.

O’Mara said, "This year's action to strengthen and fully fund the Environmental Protection Fund is one of the most important actions we've ever taken in New York government for the benefit of local economies, environments and taxpayers. Here's another example. The recycling of electronic waste has become extremely burdensome and costly for local governments and property taxpayers. This new funding will help reduce this burden immediately and we need to keep working to address this challenge on a long-term basis through regulatory reform. So I look forward to continue working with and urging Governor Cuomo and his administration on short- and long-term actions which make important fiscal, economic and environmental sense locally, regionally and statewide.”

[UPDATE, August 4, from The Leader in Corning, "Steuben to seek e-waste grant to save free program", and see attached copy above]

O’Mara strongly supported and advocated for the 2016-17 state environmental budget, which included a long-fought-for, $300-million record level of funding for the EPF.  He stressed that the EPF has been a key source of state aid assisting local communities in undertaking a range of projects from drinking water quality to wetlands protections, from community parks enhancement to recycling programs, and from farmland conservation to controlling invasive species.  Studies have shown, for example, that for every dollar of EFP funds invested in land and water protection, the state and localities get back seven dollars in economic benefits.

According to today’s announcement, the e-waste grant program will be administered through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Household Hazardous Waste State Assistance Program.  Municipalities will be eligible for reimbursement of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses incurred for collection and recycling of e-waste between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

Application materials, guidance documents, and important information for Electronic Waste Assistance Grants are available on the DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8778.html. Applications for funding will be accepted from October 3 to October 31, 2016. 

For questions about E-Waste Assistance Grants, email RecyclingGrants@dec.ny.gov or contact the Department of Environmental Conservation at 518-402-8678.