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04/16/2012 12:08 PM     print story email story  

Electronics Recycling Jumps 53%

SustainableBusiness.com News

Best Buy, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba America are some of the well-known electronics companies that are participating in pushing recycling of their products forward.

Since the electronics industry got together to promote recycling a year ago, consumer electronics recycling has jumped 53%, according to its trade association, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

460 million pounds of consumer electronics were collected, compared with 300 million pounds recycled in 2010.

Electronics manufacturers and retailers increased the number of recycling drop-off locations nationwide to nearly 7,500 from  over 5,000 a year ago.

The goal of the eCycling Leadership Initiative is to recycle one billion pounds of electronics a year by 2016 - enough to fill a 71,000 seat stadium annually - triple the amount recovered in 2010.

It's a partnership among consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, non-governmental organizations and governments at all levels.

"The billion pound challenge is about both the quality and quantity of electronics recycling," says Walter Alcorn, CEA's vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability. "But we won't stop at a billion pounds. The eCycling Leadership initiative is an ongoing, permanent initiative that will follow the best practices and commitment of industry, including practices that prohibit the use of recyclers and downstream processors who dump end-of-life electronics in developing nations."

Their website, GreenerGadgets.org, offers information about  eCycling and energy consumption, and by entering a ZIP code, you can find the nearest collection depot.

Besides increasing the amount of electronics recycled responsibly, the group is also working to provide transparent metrics on eCycling efforts.

"According to CEA research, the average U.S. household owns 25 different consumer electronics products," says Walter Alcorn, CEA's vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability. "We want to make recycling electronics just as easy as purchasing electronics."

In the absence of national legislation governing electronics recycling, 19 states have enacted e-cycling laws and another 13 states are considering them.

The laws vary from state to state, resulting in a complex patchwork of regulations for companies to follow. The trade group decided to launch a national recycling program on its own, while it keeps pushing for a national law. 

Last year, the federal government made its first attempt to control electronic waste.  

And Sprint announced an Electronics Stewardship Policy, the first in the telecommunications industry.

It's amazing that the lifecycle of the products we use in the US - going far beyond electronics - accounts for 42% of US greenhouse gas emissions, according to an EPA study.

Here's the report:

Website: www.ce.org/shared_files/edm/2012/green/ecyclingleadership2011.pdf



Reader Comments (1)

Author:
Ricardo

Date Posted:
04/16/12 05:37 PM

Here is also the video the Consumer Electronics industry produced about this initiative. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoVKCnOqdXI

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