39% of Americans Recycle Old Electronic Gadgets

by | Oct 6, 2010

Thirty-nine percent of Americans recycle all of their old electronic gadgets, according to a survey from Retrevo. The survey also revealed that 17 percent of respondents did not know how to recycle their old electronic equipment and 11 percent said e-recycling was not available where they lived.

The Gadget Census surveyed more than 7500 households across the country and globally. Participants answered questions about the gadgets they owned and how they used them.

The top states in the country for gadget recycling include California, Minnesota, Maryland, and Oregon, which leads with a 53 percent recycling. The top four metro areas that recycle include the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C. Metro Area, Phoenix and Los Angeles.

Although there are many recycling options for consumers, including those from retailers (including Radio Shack and Costco) and manufacturers, only 15 percent of electronic waste, or e-waste, is recycled in the U.S., reports the Los Angles Times.

Carey Levine, director of marketing for ECS Refining, a California state-approved e-waste recycler in Santa Clara, told the Los Angeles Times that “the biggest barrier to e-recycling is time and proximity.

To help solve this challenge in the state of California, ECS is launching ecollective — a network of drop-off locations throughout the state for consumers and small businesses to recycle old electronics for free, according to the article.

At the Website, users type in their ZIP Code and are directed to nearby e-waste dropoff points. Directions and hours of operation are included. Currently there are about 100 locations but ECS plans on doubling the number with the goal to service 95 percent of all California households with locations within 10 miles of their homes.

California has required consumers to pay a recycling fee at the point of sale for most electronic devices with a screen since 2005.

On the east coast, the city of Cincinnati, in partnership with Rumpke Recycling, Cascade Engineering, RecycleBank, and Procter & Gamble’s Future Friendly, unveiled its enhanced recycling program, designed to double the volume of the city’s recycling rate and help meet its 25 percent diversion goal by 2013.

The new recycling program now includes larger recycling carts, every-other-week collection and the ability to earn rewards for recycling.

RecycleBank is a rewards program that motivates people to take greener actions by rewarding them with points that are redeemable online for rewards from local and national retailers, restaurants, pharmacies, and grocers.

In addition, Procter & Gamble’s Future Friendly has partnered with RecycleBank in rewarding residents for their green actions. When residents register their free RecycleBank account at www.RecycleBank.com, they will receive a $5-off reward towards the purchase of any Future Friendly product from the P&G eStore, while supplies last.

Other marketers, including Verizon in Philadelphia and Safeway in San Francisco, have similarly sponsored RecycleBank rewards, but P&G is the first to add a nationwide educational and social-media component to its sponsorship, according to Advertising Age.

Consumers can also earn points for reading or watching videos, flash animation or other online content about ways to lessen their environmental impact, and by blogging or using social media to get others to view the P&G-backed content, reports Advertising Age.

Ohio residents can redeem their RecycleBank Points online from hundreds of reward partners. Local partners include Dewey’s Pizza, City Barbeque, Long John Silver’s, Park + Vine, Graeter’s, Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Zoo, Half Price Books, and Pipkin’s Market. National reward partners include The Coca-Cola Company, Nature Made, LeapFrog, Friskies Cat Food, Old Navy, Kashi, eBay, Yoplait, Staples, Barbara’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

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