Most printer companies and some TV manufacturers failed to get passing grades on a new recycling report card released by the Electronics TakeBack Coalition. However, most electronic product manufacturers received a passing grade, although not one earned an “A” for their take-back and recycling programs.
Among the computer, television, printer and game console manufacturers evaluated for the report card, Dell (B grade), Samsung (B- grade) and Asus (B-) received the highest marks.
However, Samsung received a “dishonorable mention” because of concerns about their occupational health record at manufacturing plants in Korea where many young workers have been diagnosed with blood cancers, says the Electronics Takeback Coalition.
Companies that flunked include Brother, Kodak, Lexmark, Philips, Funai, Epson, and RCA (now owned by Technicolor).
The organization graded the companies on several criteria (PDF) including how extensive their take-back programs are (how many collection sites in each state, and volume collected), are the products being recycled responsibly, what are they doing to promote reuse and closed loop recycling, their positions on government policies related to recycling and transparency in reporting.
The report finds that the printer industry scored the lowest marks, with all failing with the exception of HP. Several TV manufacturers including Funai (5th largest U.S. seller), RCA, and Philips also failed to make the grade.
The report also reveals that companies generally performed poorly in the “responsible recycling” category, which requires transparency in recycling policies, vendor requirements, and vendors used.
The most credit is awarded to companies that use recyclers qualified under the e-Stewards program, which evaluates electronics recyclers against the highest standards in the industry, including a ban on exporting e-waste to developing countries.