EPA honors electronics manufacturers

Vizio was recognized by the EPA with a Bronze Tier Award in the SMM Electronics Challenge.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized LG Electronics USA, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, with the 2016 Gold Tier Award, the top-level recognition in the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge. The agency also recognized Vizio Inc., Irvine, California, with the Bronze Tier Award.

The awards were presented Jan. 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 Sustainability Day.

The Gold Tier Award recognizes LG’s contributions to the EPA’s SMM Electronics Challenge goals by increasing the amount of used electronics collected for reuse and recycling, striving to send 100 percent of these devices to certified third-party recyclers, and publicly sharing detailed information about its electronic management practices, EPA says.

Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, says, “The successful practices spearheaded by LG and other challenge participants are inspiring examples of how other manufacturers, retailers and brand owners throughout various industries can make their products more sustainable throughout their life cycles.”

The EPA award recognizes LG Electronics USA’s collection and responsible recycling of more than 24,000 tons of used electronics, diverting solid waste from landfills in the past year. This avoided the release of the equivalent of more than 63,714 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. At collection events, LG encourages consumers to replace recycled electronics with new, more energy-efficient Energy Star-certified LG TV and monitors.

“The positive environmental impact of LG’s responsible recycling is equal to taking 12,209 passenger cars off the road for a year or saving enough electricity to power 8,535 U.S. homes for a year,” Stanislaus says. “I am proud to recognize LG, a true leader in the industry, for creating innovative ways to meld environmental responsibilities with sound business practices.”

William Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics USA, says, “By using third-party-certified recyclers, we’re proud to help drive the use of environmentally protective practices. LG’s leadership in the SMM Challenge reflects our strong commitment to building a robust market for electronic recycling in the U.S.”

The Bronze Tier Award commends Vizio’s commitment to EPA’s SMM Electronics Challenge goals by publicly disclosing its recycling management practices. Vizio says it strives to send 100 percent of used electronics from all of its collection streams (e.g., consumer, warranty and return, business to business and internal equipment) to recyclers or refurbishers that are certified by a third-party program.

Stanislaus says, “As our newest addition to the Electronics Challenge, Vizio’s significant leadership and innovation in the sustainable management of electronics demonstrates its commitment to incorporating environmentally responsible practices into their successful business endeavors. I salute Vizio for their innovative efforts to keep electronics out of landfills and recover valuable resources, and I encourage others to follow their lead by following these best practices.”

With more than 100 million pounds of devices recycled since 2014, Vizio says it is unwavering in its stance that proper recycling and refurbishment of electronic equipment is of paramount importance when evaluating environmental responsibility.

“We are honored that the EPA has taken note of Vizio’s efforts and contributions to the collective goal of promoting the refurbishment, reuse and responsible recycling of consumer electronics,” says Matt McRae, chief technology officer of Vizio. “We are proud to be doing our part to help the environment through the growth and expansion of our sustainability programs.”

E-cycleNYC program receives Bright Ideas award

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and Fresno, California-based information technology asset disposition provider ERI have announced that New York City’s e-cycleNYC program has received the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network Bright Ideas designation.

The e-cycleNYC program is a public-private partnership between DSNY and ERI. Fully funded by electronics manufacturers, the program is free for participants.

With the e-cycleNYC program, New York City-area buildings with at least 10 units can receive on-site pickup of stored electronics.

Depending on the size and type of building, various service options are available, including storage bins, room clean-outs and building events. Buildings, management companies or residents who want to learn more about electronics recycling in NYC can visit www.nyc.gov/ecycle.

The Bright Ideas awards highlight noteworthy and promising government programs and practices from across the nation to serve as catalysts in the adoption of innovative ideas by government entities.

John Shegerian, chairman and CEO of ERI, says, “We co-created this constructive collaboration and this historic and successful partnership with the great city of New York and forward-thinking manufacturers, such as Samsung and LG, in an attempt to help fulfill a need. That we now regularly provide responsible, effective recycling for millions of New Yorkers’ electronic waste is a huge accomplishment.”

He adds, “New York City can now be held up as a workable model for how such partnerships can lead to tremendous results, ultimately making the world a much better place.”