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Dell, Sprint, Sony Support Federal CE Recycling Initiative

7/20/2011 02:26:17 PM Eastern
Austin, Texas - Dell, Sprint and Sony have pledged to support a U.S.-based electronics recycling market as part of larger Obama Administration plan for used CE. 

The recycling strategy, developed by the U.S. Environmental Production Agency (EPA), calls for the use of certified recyclers and to increase the safe and effective management and handling of used electronics.

As a first step in this effort, Dell and Sprint CEOs Michael Dell and Dan Hesse, along with representatives from Sony Electronics, signed a voluntary commitment with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today to improve the safe management of used electronics.

The EPA said its collaboration with industry aims to encourage businesses and consumers to recycle their electronics with certified recyclers, and for electronic recyclers to become certified.

The recycling effort is part of the Obama Administration's larger "National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship," also announced today, which White House officials described as a plan for responsible electronic design, purchasing, management and recycling that will promote the burgeoning electronics recycling market and jobs of the future here at home. 

The administration's strategy also commits the federal government to take specific actions that will encourage the more environmentally friendly design of electronic products, promote recycling of used or discarded electronics, and advance a domestic market for electronics recycling that will protect public health and create jobs.

General Services Administrator Martha Johnson and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley announced the strategy at the EPA signing event, which took place at a certified electronics recycling center here.

As outlined in the strategy report, the federal government will:

  • promote the development of more efficient and sustainable electronic products;
  • direct federal agencies to buy, use, reuse and recycle their electronics responsibly;
  • support recycling options and systems for American consumers; and
  • strengthen America's role in the international electronics stewardship arena. 
Under the strategy, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will remove products that do not comply with comprehensive and robust energy efficiency or environmental performance standards -- from its information technology purchase contracts used by federal agencies, and will ensure that all electronics used by the federal government are reused or recycled properly. 

In addition, EPA and GSA will promote development of new environmental performance standards for categories of electronic products not covered by current standards.  Several federal agencies will work together to identify methods for tracking used electronics in federal agencies to move toward reuse and recycling.

The EPA estimates that Americans generate almost 2.5 million tons of used electronics annually, which are made from valuable resources such as precious metals and rare earth materials, as well as plastic and glass.

"A robust electronics recycling industry in America would create new opportunities to efficiently and profitably address a growing pollution threat," said the EPA's Jackson. "The participation of industry leaders like Dell, Sprint and Sony is absolutely essential to this effort, and will help ensure that the work of the federal government -- the largest electronics consumer around -- is protecting our people from pollution at the same time we support savings and job creation through e-cycling and re-use of valuable materials."

"Our goal at Dell is to deliver the highest quality and most efficient products to our customers with the least environmental impact," Michael Dell said. "Last fiscal year we diverted more than 150 million pounds of end-of-life electronics globally from landfills, and we are well on our way to meeting our goal of recycling 1 billion pounds by 2014. We encourage everyone in our industry to commit to easier, more responsible recycling as we all work to protect our planet."

Said Hesse, "To be recognized by the EPA for responsible e-waste recycling is an honor for Sprint and a chance to build on our industry-first Electronics Stewardship Policy. Our current policy and today's commitment with the EPA highlights our goal to handle electronic waste holistically -- from product design to disposal -- and is another proof point to our broader commitment to sustainability innovation."

Added Sony's Mark Small, corporate environment, safety and health VP,
"At Sony, any product we make and put our name on, we will take back and recycle in the most responsible manner. ‘We Make It, We Take It Back' has been Sony's policy since 1995.  This partnership -- in coordination with the EPA and other stakeholders -- will help us reach our ‘Road to Zero' goal, Sony's vision of zero waste and zero environmental impact throughout the complete life cycle of all our products and related activities."

For more information on the EPA and industry collaboration, visit www.epa.gov/electronicsstrategy. For more information on GSA's electronic stewardship goals and promoting federal agencies' purchasing environmentally preferable products, visit www.gsa.gov/portal/content/187053.

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