ARLINGTON, VA. – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) will be releasing its “eCycling Leadership Initiative Year Three Report” today, while the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management (MRM) has just updated its recycling numbers.
The numbers from CEA and MRM show that CE recycling is popular and growing.
Launched in April 2011, the eCycling Leadership Initiative is a nationwide effort by the CE industry to achieve several key goals:
• improve consumer awareness of the available collection sites sponsored by its industry;
• increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly to one billion pounds annually by 2016; and
• increase the number of collection opportunities available to consumers.
The eCycling Leadership Initiative represents a collaboration among CE manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, non-governmental organizations and governments at all levels, spearheaded by CEA.
In 2013, the CE industry arranged for more than 620 million pounds of consumer electronics to be recycled. That total is an increase of 35 million pounds over 2012 (585 million pounds), and more than double the amount recycled in 2010 (300 million pounds).
There are more than 8,000 locations available to consumers in the U.S. These locations include retail stores that recycle electronics such as Best Buy and Staples (HP arranges recycling of all electronics collected by Staples), local government sites and charities, processing centers, and other recycling drop-off locations that are sponsored by CE manufacturers and retailers.
Walter Alcorn, CEA’s environmental affairs VP, provided background, saying, “Sony was the first [manufacturer] to jump into CE recycling on the TV side of the business.”
But soon after that, MRM was formed in October 2007 originally sponsored by Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba.
“MRM provides recycling services [for members] plus some other manufacturers in compliance with state laws,” Alcorn said.
MRM has recycled more than 425 million pounds of consumer electronics since its inception in late 2007. At this time, MRM supports 1800 e-waste collection sites across the country. All of the electronics collected through MRM sites are recycled by third-party-certified recyclers, the group said.
MRM recyclers are either eStewards Certified, R2 Certified or both.
The company operates recycling programs in 20 states that have specific laws requiring manufacturer recycling; about 30 manufacturers participate with MRM in those states. In addition, MRM provides ewaste collection in all 50 states through the National Voluntary program supported by MRM sponsors.
Alcorn said that CEA’s goal, as well as its members, is to have a nationwide law about CE recycling so manufacturers, retailers and consumers would be well aware what he rules are for recycling products nationwide.
As part of CEA’s “April is Earth Month” effort, it has been sharing tips with consumers how to buy green and recycle responsibly.
Here are a few of CEA’s suggestions:
Live Green: Consumers should check out CEA’s Consumer Electronics Energy Calculator and Electronics Recycler Locator tools.
Optimize energy savings: Consumers should unplug electronics once they are charged, and turn them off when not in use.
Make energy reduction easy: Plug electronics into a power strip — flip the switch to power everything down at once.
Use technology to maximize a home’s energy efficiency: Use a smart-home thermostat to more efficiently cool homes in the summer and warm it in the winter. This also saves money on your electricity bill, CEA said.
Buy Green: Use energy-efficient and Energy Starcertified electronics. Energy Star-certified products provide the same functionality but use less energy because they are more efficient in all usage modes: sleep, idle and on, CEA said.
Recycle Responsibly: Recycle old electronics at their end of life. Use CEA’s Electronics Recycling Locator tool to find a local recycler.
For more information on CEA’s Earth Month activities, visit GreenerGadgets.org/EarthMonth.
Recent CEA and MRM reports illustrate how CE recycling has increased in the past few years.