With its push to get consumers to recycle their e-waste, New York—and 24 other states—intends to cut down on the 50 million tons of electronic waste dumped into landfills worldwide every year. Most other kinds of waste gradually decompose, releasing gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but don't totally destroy the surrounding environment; although electronic waste makes up 2 percent of what is dumped in landfills, it makes up 70 percent of the toxic waste found there. When electronics start to break down, they release the metals and chemicals inside them, including lead, which has been linked to a slew of health issues. Over time, these toxic chemicals can leach into nearby groundwater. "Electronics really contain so much energy and toxic materials in them that it's imperative that we don't throw them in the trash," Datz-Romero said. "You're trashing our environment in a significant way."