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Whitman Recognizes Electronics Industry for Recycling Efforts

Release Date: 11/22/2002
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith 215-814-5543

Contact: Bonnie Smith 215-814-5543
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman joined Congressman Don Sherwood and other government officials at the Envirocycle recycling facility located in Hallstead, Pa. to recognize the cooperative efforts and continued commitment of electronics manufacturers and recyclers who have partnered with EPA and state environmental agencies in the mid-Atlantic regional pilot, eCycling.

This project is the nation’s first-of-a-kind government-industry collaboration to promote reuse and recycling of outdated computer equipment, televisions, and other electronics.

“Through the eCycling partnership we have learned important lessons for creating sustainable multi-state electronics recycling. I am pleased that this partnership will expand to a second year, providing mid-Atlantic residents electronics reuse and recycling opportunities for another year, and offering the country an opportunity to advance further in this important area,” said Administrator Whitman.

eCycling, which began in October 2001, encourages local residents and small businesses to drop-off used and outdated electronics at coordinated collection events throughout the region. During the first year, using funds from the U.S. EPA, mid-Atlantic state environmental agencies, and manufacturers Panasonic, Sharp, Sony and other members of the Electronic Industries Alliance, eCycling collected more than 2,100 tons of electronics from residents in the mid-Atlantic states and prevented more than 21,000 cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from going into regional landfills and incinerators.

“ I applaud the efforts of all the partners involved and your commitment to continue this effort for another year. I encourage more electronics manufacturers and retailers to join us in our quest for the best national solution to this growing problem. I urge residents to take advantage of the electronic recycling opportunities scheduled in your areas,” Whitman said.

Electronic equipment collected during the 45 eCycling drop-off events in 31 counties and cities included televisions, monitors, computers, printers, keyboards, and scanners. Both government and manufacturers shared the cost to transport and process the equipment collected through eCycling. Panasonic, Sharp, and Sony paid for the dismantling costs of their respective brands of equipment collected at the eCycling events. In addition, they, along with Canon U.S.A., Inc., Hewlett Packard, JVC, Kodak, Nokia, Philips Consumer Electronics - North America, and Thomson Multimedia contributed funds to pay for transportation and recycling efforts.

The Electronic Industries Alliance assisted EPA in soliciting partners to join the eCycling project, and collected funds from the partners to help offset program costs. The Polymer Alliance Zone of West Virginia paid for some of the data collection and analysis and assisted in the distribution of private sector funding for the project.

Techneglas, a national leader in the reuse or recycling of cathode ray tube (CRT) glass used in computer monitors and televisions, was able to recycle a significant amount of the CRT glass collected from eCycling events for reuse in manufacturing new products.

Electronics recyclers who helped to safely transport, recycle, and refurbish three million pounds of eCycling electronics were Envirocycle, Inc. of Hallstead, Pa. and Elemental, Inc. of Philadelphia.

In the pilot’s second year, EPA, industry partners, and the mid-Atlantic state environmental agencies will continue to use different methods of collecting end-of-life electronics from residents and small businesses to determine the costs involved, and to define the roles and responsibilities of government, consumers, and electronics manufacturers, retailers, and recyclers. Additional partners from television and computer manufacturers are encouraged to join the eCycling effort.

State environmental agencies throughout the mid-Atlantic region participate in the eCycling pilot. The mid-Atlantic region comprises Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

eCycling brings recycling into the electronic age. By safely recycling old computer and electronic equipment, this project is paving the way to sustainable eCycling – putting electronic components into effective reuse, instead of allowing them to take up already limited landfill space.