More than 275 000 tonnes of unwanted electronics were saved from being sent to US landfills this year as part of the successful Electronics Challenge. America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of its annual sustainable materials management awards, citing ‘growing support’ from US businesses.
Third party certified recyclers across America processed 276 000 tonnes of e-scrap over the last twelve months, EPA reports. ‘This is equivalent to saving the energy used by nearly 100 000 homes for one year,’ comments EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
Retailers, OEMs and brand owners are eligible to participate in the Electronics Challenge. This time, the ‘gold tier awards’ are going to Dell, Hewlett Packard, LG, Samsung Electronics America, LG, Sprint, Staples, Sony, TLC, and Xerox. This status means the companies have set up ‘exemplary, well-developed collection programmes’.
Meanwhile, the ‘silver tier’ status was achieved by Best Buy and Vizio. This means organisations have launched ‘modest’ collection programmes.
Wheeler says that EPA will hold an official awards ceremony at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada in January. Here, the innovative work of the winners will be showcased.
At this event, Dell will be receiving the Product Award for its closed-loop gold recycling programme. ‘Through the creation of innovative partnerships, Dell overcame the challenge of sourcing gold for their products by reusing gold from their recycled electronics in new computer motherboards. They also increased consumer awareness of the value of used electronics through creative and impactful outreach,’ EPA notes.
Also, Xerox is receiving the Non-Product Award for its take-back and recycling programme in partnership with Close the Loop, a recycler of toner cartridges. In 2017, the takeback program reused 725 tonnes of material, recycled 1050 tonnes, and kept all these materials out of the landfill.
Additionally, Best Buy is receiving the Cutting- Edge Award for its Teen Tech Centers. In partnership with certified electronic recyclers, these centers increase Science Technology Engineering and Math education by encouraging youth through the reuse of older electronics to explore technology through training in coding, digital music and film production photography, 3D design, and other STEM related disciplines.
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