The CVS Caremark Shoreline Cleanup, a national environmental employee engagement campaign, has held five cleanup events this year, collecting more than 34,000 pieces of trash at coastlines from Florida to California. The trash, weighing about 25,000 pounds (11 tons), included sofas, tractor tires, car parts, sinks, shopping carts, mattresses, TVs and computer monitors.
CVS’ shoreline cleanup announcement comes as other organizations are taking steps to encourage e-waste reduction and recycling efforts. On Monday, a report by the Product Stewardship Institute for the Natural Resources Defense Council said easier consumer access to scrap electronics collection sites, spurred by manufacturer funding, has contributed to an increase in e-waste recycling and a decrease in government spending in New York State. The number of electronics take-back sites had increased by 77 percent across the state, and more than 44 million pounds of scrap electronics were collected between April 2011 and December 2012, the report says.
However, there is still too little public awareness about take-back initiatives, which leads to lower product recovery rates, it says. Moreover, residents of New York City do not have access to enough convenient collection sites, further reducing participation rates.
Also this week, UL Environment and the Green Electronics Council (GEC) announced a collaboration to encourage sustainability and recycling of mobile phones by bringing a mobile-device category to the EPEAT registry of greener electronics.