EPA recognizes electronics leaders for innovative efforts, recycling achievements

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EPA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the 2018 winners of the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge Awards. EPA recognized these leaders in the electronics industry for sustainably designing products and processes, while also diverting electronics from landfills.

“The participants in the Electronics Challenge saved roughly 276,000 tons of electronics from going to landfills and instead diverted it to certified recyclers,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The commitment of these companies to sustainable management of electronics proves that innovative business practices and environmental stewardship can go hand-in-hand.”

“We thank EPA for joining with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM – owner and producer of the Consumer Electronics Show – to recognize the technology manufacturers and retailers making a real impact toward reducing our environmental footprint,” said CTA Vice President for Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability Walter Alcorn. “Each of this year’s winners exemplifies our industry’s commitment to increasing product sustainability and protecting the planet for future generations. Thanks to the leadership of these companies and others, the technology industry now uses less materials to produce tech devices than it did 20 years ago – even as the number and type of products available to consumers has significantly grown.”

Electronics Challenge participants kept nearly 276,000 tons of electronics from being sent to landfills by sending them to third-party certified recyclers. This is equivalent to saving the energy used by nearly 100,000 homes for one year. EPA will hold a ceremony at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada in January to showcase the innovative work of the winners. The Agency’s 2018 Electronics Challenge Gold and Silver Tier Awards are going to the following organizations:

Gold Tier Awards
• Dell
• HP
• LG
• Samsung Electronics America
• Sony
• Sprint
• Staples
• TCL
• Xerox

Silver Tier Awards
• Best Buy
• VIZIO

EPA is also recognizing Dell, Xerox, and Best Buy as the Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for innovating processes and products that use materials in an environmentally responsible way throughout their life cycles. These companies serve as examples in demonstrating environmental, social, and economic outcomes for their organizations and the public that go above and beyond the requirements of the Electronics Challenge.

• Dell is receiving the Product Award for their closed-loop gold recycling program. 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.
• Xerox is receiving the Non-Product Award for their take-back and recycling program in partnership with Close the Loop, a recycler of toner cartridges. In 2017, the takeback program reused 725 tons of material, recycled 1,050 tons, and kept all these materials out of the landfill.
• Best Buy is receiving the Cutting- Edge Award for their Teen Tech Centers. In partnership with certified electronic recyclers, these centers increase Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) 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.

Background
Electronics are a global economic driver, with supply chains that reach around the world and products that touch every part of our lives. Today’s electronics are made from valuable resources and highly engineered materials including precious metals. If not properly managed at the end of their useful lives, some of the materials in electronics may pose a risk to human health and the environment.

EPA’s Electronics Challenge encourages electronics manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to strive to send 100 percent of the used electronics they collect from the public, businesses and within their own organizations to third-party certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers. The Challenge’s goals are to:
• Address the entire life cycle of electronic products;
• Help ensure responsible recycling;
• Increase collection of electronic equipment for reuse and recycling;
• Promote data transparency; and
• Conserve valuable resources and energy.

More information for consumers to find a location to donate or recycle their electronics:
http://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling

More information on the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge and how to participate:
http://www.epa.gov/smm-electronics



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