Best Buy, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sprint and Staples have joined the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge, committing to send 100 percent of the used electronics they collect to third-party certified refurbishers and recyclers, and to increase the amount of used electronics they collect.
The EPA’s electronics challenge, an initiative that aims to make electronics refurbishing and recycling practices the industry standard, requires recyclers to show an accredited, independent auditor they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage used electronics, in order to be certified. Original equipment manufacturers and retailers are both eligible to participate in the challenge.
The challenge supports President Obama’s “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship,” which aims to promote the growing electronics recycling market. The strategy covers responsible design, purchasing, management and recycling of electronics.
Dell, Sony and Sprint agreed in July to help the EPA encourage certified electronics recycling by following a set of responsible management practices with their used electronics. The commitments of these three companies formed the foundation for the electronics challenge was developed.
The US generates nearly 2.5 million tons of electronic waste per year and that number will only grow, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said.
Consumer awareness of electronics recycling and locations is on the rise, according to studies released Wednesday by the Consumer Electronics Association. The CE Recycling and Reuse 2012 Edition study found nine in 10 consumers believe it’s important to recycle their consumer electronics devices and 63 percent of consumers know where to recycle them.
Six in 10 consumer electronics owners removed at least one device from their homes in the last year, the study said. Nearly half (48 percent) of those CE owners donated the device for reuse and 26 percent recycled the device. Of the 12 percent who reported putting a used device in the trash in the past 12 months, most cited convenience as the primary factor for their choice, the study said.
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