EPA Recognizes Manufacturing, Retail Leaders in Electronics Recycling Challenge

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Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 8:31 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized leading electronics manufacturers and retailers for their outstanding achievements in used electronics stewardship under the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge. Leaders from Best Buy, Dell, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Sprint and Staples gathered in Washington, D.C. to celebrate their environmental achievements, which include diverting more than 220,000 metric tons of used electronics to third party certified recyclers in 2013, an increase of 7.6 percent since 2012.

“Electronics are made of valuable resources such as precious metals, copper, plastic and glass, all of which require energy to extract and manufacture,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Improper handling of discarded electronics can result in serious health consequences to communities and workers. The efforts by these leaders to collect, track and recycle used electronics is a great step towards addressing these public health concerns, conserving materials, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

EPA also recognized Best Buy, Dell, Sprint, and Samsung as SMM Electronics Champion award winners for demonstrating significant environmental, social and economic outcomes for their organizations and the public that go above and beyond the requirements of the SMM Electronics Challenge.

The United States generates almost 3.4 million tons of electronic waste per year, and that number is only growing. By participating in the SMM Electronics Challenge, leaders in the electronics industry are rethinking business as usual as they commit to increasing the amount of used electronics they collect and, in addition, sending 100 percent of used electronics to third-party certified refurbishers and recyclers. Through this Challenge, the EPA is providing a transparent and measurable way for companies to endorse safe and environmentally protective practices for the refurbishment and recycling of used electronics, and to publicly show progress toward recycling goals.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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