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Consumer Electronics Firms Upped Recycling by 53% in 2011

Members of the consumer electronics industry’s eCycling Leadership Initiative – including Apple, Best Buy, Dell and HP – increased the amount of goods they recycled by 53 percent in 2011, according to trade body The Consumer Electronics Association.

In 2011, participants of the eCycling Leadership Initiative recycled 460 million pounds of consumer electronics, up from 300 million pounds 2010, according to the First Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative.

Electronics manufacturers and retailers also increased the number of recycling drop-off locations for consumers nationwide, to nearly 7,500 from just over 5,000 a year ago. In 2011 CEA also launched a tool on GreenerGadgets.org, allowing consumers to input a ZIP code and locate the closest recycling drop-off location.

By the end of 2011, 96 percent of the recycling done by eCycling Leadership Initiative participants was conducted in third-party certified recycling facilities, the report says.

The eCycling Leadership Initiative, which is also known as the Billion Pound Challenge, is a collaboration among consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, non-governmental organizations and all levels of government. Members include LG, Nintendo, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Vizio, Samsung and Sony.

The initiative aims to increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly to 1 billion pounds annually by 2016, growing the number of collection opportunities available to consumers, improving consumer awareness of available eCycling collection sites and providing transparent metrics on eCycling efforts.

Earlier this month, Hewlett-Packard and office products retailer Staples teamed up to offer free electronics recycling for all brands of office technology at Staples stores nationwide. A similar program called Dell Reconnect is administered by electronics giant Dell and thrift store chain Goodwill Industries, and is a member program of the eCycling Leadership Initiative.

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