Last April, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), along with 12 leading consumer electronics companies, launched an initiative to recycle 1 billion lbs. of electronics annually by 2016. Coined the “Billion Pound Challenge,” the effort involved collaboration with retailers, collectors, recyclers, and other organizations to not only improve recycling rates but to also increase the number of collection sites, improve consumer awareness of the available collection sites, and to provide transparent metrics on ecycling efforts.
A report issued earlier this month by the CEA revealed that the consumer electronics industry substantially increased its recycling in 2011, advancing the goals set by the eCycling Leadership Initiative.
Among the achievements:
• In 2011, 460 million lbs. of consumer electronics were responsibly recycled, representing a 53 percent increase over the 300 million lbs. recycled in 2010;
• Electronics manufacturers and retailers increased the number of recycling drop-off locations for consumers nationwide to nearly 7,500 from just over 5,000 the prior year;
• At the end of 2011, 96 percent of the recycling done by eCycling Leadership Initiative participants was conducted in third-party certified recycling facilities; and
• To address consumer awareness, CEA launched GreenerGadgets.org, which supplies consumers with information about electronics recycling and energy consumption; simply entering a ZIP code provides users with the closest responsible recycling opportunity sponsored by the CE industry and/or third-party certified recycler.
“According to CEA research, the average U.S. household owns 25 different CE products,” said Walter Alcorn, CEA’s vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability. “We want to make recycling electronics just as easy as purchasing electronics.”
For more details, including a full list of participating companies, see the First Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative.