July 18 - Report: Retailers Get Failing Grades For Electronics Recycling

A new report by the Electronics Take Back Coalition gives most large electronics retailers failing grades when it comes to offering recycling for old electronics. Staples, Best Buy and Office Depot got good grades, while most of the others were either just starting to develop recycling programs, or weren’t doing anything at all.

The report ranked the country’s top 16 electronics retailers based on 20 criteria including convenience, transparency, collection volumes and responsible recycling.

While the leaders are making progress in providing recycling opportunities to consumers, this report clearly illustrates the need for more states to set e-waste recycling standards through legislation. Currently, 25 states including California have electronics waste recycling laws.

California’s Electronic Waste Recovery Act was implemented in 2005. Since then, over 600 recycling locations have been established in the state.

Devices covered under the law include computer monitors, laptop computers, portable DVD players with liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, "bare" cathode ray tubes (CRT) and devices containing CRT; and televisions with LCD screens, plasma screens and CRT.

CAW supports AB 1022 (Eggman) to help increase recycling in California. With the development of new technologies, CRT glass has become outmoded. However, there are still a large number of electronics containing CRT glass that should be recycled at end of life. AB 1022 would provide incentives for recyclers to cover the cost of removing lead from the glass—then manufacturers would receive incentives for using that glass in their products, instead of other materials.

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