Consumer Electronics Firms Upped Recycling 27% in 2012

eCycling Leadership Initiative Report

by | Apr 25, 2013

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eCycling Leadership Initiative ReportApple, Dell, HP and some 2,000 other consumer electronics companies increased the amount of electronics they recycled by about 27 percent last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

The Second Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative says consumer electronics companies working in the eCycling Leadership Initiative recycled 585 million pounds of electronics in 2012, up from 460 million pounds in 2011. This represents a total increase of 95 percent since 2010 (300 million pounds). The report singles out Apple, Best Buy Dell, HP and Samsung as the top recyclers in 2012.

The eCycling Leadership Initiative is an industry effort spearheaded by CEA, designed to increase collaboration among consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, non-governmental organizations and governments.

The report also says by the end of 2012, 99 percent of the recycling handled by eCycling Leadership Initiative participants was conducted in third-party certified recycling facilities.

As of April 2013, there are more than 8,000 electronics recycling locations available to consumers nationwide.

The eCycling Leadership Initiative has set goals to increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly to a billion pounds annually by 2016. The Billion Pound Challenge also aims to grow the number of eCycling collection sites available across the US.

Earlier this month, CEA and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries launched a crowdsourcing CRT Challenge to identify financially viable, environmentally conscious proposals for using recycled cathode ray tube (CRT) glass. As CRT technology has been displaced in the market by liquid crystal display (LCD), LED and plasma displays, the consumer electronics and recycling industries are working to find new ways to recycle old CRT glass.

US electronics recyclers have stockpiled 860 million pounds of cathode ray tube glass from TVs and monitors instead of recycling the material, according to a November 2012 report from Transparent Planet.

Some 72 percent of US consumers recycle electronics, up from 39 percent in 2010, according to Retrevo survey published earlier this week. Three years ago and in 2013, the most common reason cited was “not getting around to it,” which the gadget review site calls “laziness.” Those under 30 are the worst offenders with 17 percent saying they just don’t get around to it compared to 8 percent of those over 30.

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