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LG Takes Part In EPA Recycling Challenge

9/20/2012 06:59:00 AM Eastern

Romeoville, Ill. – LG Electronics USA has signed on as a charter participant with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge.

LG said it will support the SMM Electronics Challenge goal of voluntarily committing to send 100 percent of used electronics collected for reuse and recycling to certified third-party recyclers.

The task, which includes publicly posting information and data, is expected “to increase the total amount of used electronics collected for reuse and recycling.”

LG called the effort “consistent with President Obama’s National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship,” and the SMM Challenge “reflects the company’s already strong commitment to leadership in the e-waste arena.”

LG Electronics USA claims to have collected and recycled more than 15 million pounds of unused and unusable electronics in 2011.

“LG is proud to support the EPA’s Electronics Challenge, and we are pledging to achieve Gold status in this important program,” stated Wayne Park, LG Electronics USA president and CEO. “By joining the Challenge, we’re committing to refurbishing and recycling even more used electronics. And, by using third-party certified recyclers, we’re helping to drive the use of environmentally protective practices.”

In the new SMM program “SMM Gold” is the highest-level status designed for organizations with “exemplary, well-developed collection programs that are sending 100 percent by weight of the total amount of used electronics collected from all streams for recycling and reuse to third-party certified recycling vendors, while going above and beyond third-party certification standards,” LG said.

Commenting on the new SMM Electronics Challenge, EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson stated, “Already, the United States generates almost 2.5 million tons of electronic waste per year — and that number will only grow. Used electronics have materials in them that can be recovered and recycled, reducing the economic costs and environmental impacts of securing and processing new materials for new products. The SMM Electronics Challenge will help us ensure that we are doing all we can to repurpose or safely dispose of the cellphones, computers and other devices we use every day — all while helping to build a robust market for electronics recycling in the United States.”

In a related development, LG Electronics said is also the first Global e-Stewards Enterprise, a standard developed by the Basel Action Network, a certification program for electronics recyclers. The network’s goal is to prevent the export and dumping of toxic electronic waste in developing countries and calls for safeguards to protect private data and to ensure that recycling plant workers are not exposed to toxic materials.