Best Buy Joins Manufacturers in EPA's Recycling Challenge
September 27, 2012
A new program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joins retailers and electronics manufacturers together in a promise to recycle 100 percent of used electronics collected from consumers.
The EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge, seeks to make protective electronics refurbishing and recycling practices the industry standard. The program was announced this week at Vintage Tech Recyclers, a certified electronics recycling facility in Romeoville, Ill. by representatives from the EPA, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sprint, and Staples.
“Already, the United States generates almost 2.5 million tons of electronic waste per year – and that number will only grow,” said Lisa Feldt, EPA deputy assistant administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
“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,” said EPA Administrator Lisa. P. Jackson. “The SMM Electronics Challenge will help us ensure that we are doing all we can to repurpose or safely dispose of the cell phones, computers and other devices we use every day – all while helping to build a robust market for electronics recycling in the United States.”
Electronics are made of valuable resources such as precious metals, copper, plastic and glass – all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling or reusing these electronics conserves these materials and prevents greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.
Those companies participating in the SMM Electronics Challenge are committing to send 100 percent of the used electronics that they collect to third-party certified refurbishers and recyclers and to increase the amount of used electronics they collect. Through this challenge, EPA is providing a transparent and measurable way for electronic companies to commit to safe and environmentally protective practices for the refurbishment and recycling of used electronics, and publicly show progress toward recycling goals.
The Electronics Challenge supports President Obama’s “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship” – a strategy for the responsible design, purchasing, management and recycling of electronics to promote the growing electronics recycling market and jobs of the future. In conjunction with the release of the National Strategy in July of 2011, Dell, Sony and Sprint committed to EPA to follow a set of responsible management practices with their used electronics. The commitments of these three companies formed the foundation from which the Electronics Challenge was developed.
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