Best Buy Bids Farewell to Free TV & Computer Recycling – Further Sign of Trouble for US E-Scrap Recovery
Article By: PSI Blog
Best Buy’s recent announcement that it will start charging $25 to recycle each TV and computer monitor indicates that the already stressed U.S. electronics collection infrastructure has gotten worse.
We can hardly blame Best Buy or any other collector that stepped up to make recycling easier for consumers. Back in 2004, when not a single retailer was collecting electronics equipment, the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) teamed with Staples and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to start the first computer take-back program in the country. Five years later, motivated by state extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws, Best Buy took Staples’ computer-only program a big step further to collect both computers and TVs, becoming one of the most convenient locations for consumers to return their used electronic equipment nationwide.
But times have changed. Costs increased, electronics recycling programs became more robust, and vast quantities of higher cost e-scrap are now being collected – changes that have revealed a lack of commitment from most electronics manufacturers to assume responsibility for collecting and recycling used electronics.
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Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Recycling and Disposal – Facts, Statistics & Solutions
By: Heather Levin
How often do you buy a new cell phone, laptop, or TV? In these gadget-driven days, you probably upgrade your electronics fairly often. Most people don’t think twice about buying the “latest and greatest” technology. After all, companies and their marketing teams spend a great deal of money to make sure that we’re hungry for the next iPad, Xbox 360 Kinect, or LED TV.
While our hunger for electronics and technology keeps growing, what happens to our old stuff? The statistics and trends are startling:
- According to Wirefly.org, the average cell phone user gets a new cell phone every 18 months.
In the U.S., we toss more than 100 million cell phones in the trash every year.
- The EPA reports that over 112,000 computers are discarded every single day, in the U.S. alone. That’s 41.1 million desktops and laptop computers per year.
- 20 million TVs are trashed in the U.S. every year.
- Only 13% of electronic waste is disposed and recycled properly.
- A recent United Nations report suggests that in some countries, production of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which includes obsolete mobile phones, computers, and HDTVs, could rise by as much as 500% over the next decade. USA Today projected electronic-waste growth and predicted that by 2014, manufacturers will produce 70 million tons of “e-waste.”
Contact us today if your business needs help recycling its outdated electronic equipment. Together we can make a difference.