via The Buffalo News:

You can't just throw an old TV or computer in the trash; it's against the law in New York State.

And you might not want to wait for a quarterly free drop-off event, so you could take it to a collection site or store that charges a fee.

But not for long. After Jan. 1, consumers will no longer be charged a fee to recycle electronics. That's when new regulations designed to make it easier to recycle electronics go into effect in New York State.

"The expectation here is these regulations have cleared any of the obstructions that were in the way for residents to get rid of electronics," said Dawn M. Timm, Niagara County environmental coordinator.

That means there could be more sites to take your computers and TVs, and if there are, there could be fewer large-scale collection day events. That's how one recycler, Sunnking, sees it.

"The new regulations state that nobody can pay anything for electronics recycling, not consumers, not sites; the manufacturer has to cover the costs," said Sunnking president Adam Shine. "We're excited to make more sites available for free, but with access to a more significant number of drop-off locations, is there still going to be a need for large-scale collection events like we've done in the past?"

Sunnking said this Saturday's drop-off at the Western New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office on East and West Road in West Seneca may be its last large event. More than 1,600 people have registered for the free event.

The company is prepared to wait and see what the response to the new regulations are, said Robert Burns, director of marketing for Sunnking. It has not committed to continuing the events next year.

The company makes money by breaking down materials and selling the commodity. As the large drop-off events grew, the large-scale drop-offs attracted up to 2,000 people and more than 200,000 pounds of waste per event. They also became more expensive to operate, Burns said.

Burns said Sunnking started waiving drop-off fees at its partner locations Nov. 1.

New York State passed its electronic waste recycling law in 2010, and one of the requirements was for manufacturers to pay for the collection of electronic waste. It was based on a formula, said Timm, and some manufacturers found they satisfied the payment quota early in the year and stopped paying.

Recyclers started implementing a charge, and that was passed on to consumers.

Timm thinks local governments will be hesitant at first to restart their collection programs. But they may change their mind after hearing from constituents.

"Wherever you live, if you can't dispose of something, your first call is your local government," she said. "My expectation is that more collection sites will reopen and retail, I would expect, would join in."