Print 33 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Aug 21 at 8:44 PM

Sony sets goal of recycling one pound of old electronics for every pound of new products sold

Sony wants its stuff back – but only if you’re done with it. Sony Electronics announced a new national recycling program for consumer electronics, called the Sony Take Back Recycling Program, which allows consumers to recycle all Sony-branded products for no fee at 75 Waste Management (WM) Recycle America eCycling drop-off centers throughout the U.S (PDF).

The program also allows consumers to recycle other manufacturers' consumer electronics products at market prices, and may include a recycling fee for some types of materials.

The program, which begins on September 15, was developed in collaboration with WM Recycle America, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc.

As the Sony Take Back Recycling program expands, the number of eCycling drop-off centers will increase to at least 150 sites within a year, with at least one location in every state through a combination of WM Recycle America locales and WM external service partners. Sony and WM Recycle America are also working towards the goal of having enough drop-off locations in all 50 states so there is a recycling center within 20 miles of 95 percent of the U.S. population.

"Providing the highest level of service and support doesn't stop once a purchase is made. We believe it is Sony's responsibility to provide customers with end-of-life solutions for all the products we manufacture," said Stan Glasgow, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics. "Through the Take Back Recycling Program, our customers will know that their Sony products will be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner."

Glasgow said that by making the recycling of Sony products easy and convenient, the company expects to reach its goal of recycling one pound of old consumer electronics equipment for every pound of new products sold.

A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that in 2005 used or unwanted electronics amounted to about 1.9 to 2.2 million tons. Of that, some 1.5 to 1.9 million tons was primarily discarded in landfills, and only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled.

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Good idea
By BigToque on 8/17/2007 10:05:40 AM , Rating: 3
I heard something similar to this on the radio yesterday morning (although it had nothing to do with Sony). I think it's a great idea. The more of our old equpiment that can be properly disposed of the better.

RE: Good idea
By michaelheath on 8/17/2007 10:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's an absolutely brilliant goal. Even if they don't meet that 1:1 goal, getting close still means a lot less plastic, silicon, mercury, and so on getting shoved into a landfill.

RE: Good idea
By Regs on 8/17/2007 10:53:28 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed. I still have my old PS1 and PS2 still waiting to be disposed of.

RE: Good idea
By spluurfg on 8/17/2007 10:55:24 AM , Rating: 1
I wonder how much 'new' stuff they'll get.

Also, change article picture to Office Space destroying the photocopier.

RE: Good idea
By HrilL on 8/17/2007 2:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
It was a printer not a photocopier. But yeah I do agree that would have gone nicely.

RE: Good idea
By Nightskyre on 8/17/2007 3:49:22 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, it was a fax machine.

RE: Good idea
By HrilL on 8/17/2007 9:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but you are wrong. It was a printer I just watched it to make sure I was right... Could be a copy/printer though. But it is not a fax for sure.

RE: Good idea
By mxzrider2 on 8/17/2007 11:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
it was copy/printer that looks like a fax machine, its the one that always got jammed in the beggining

RE: Good idea
By Samus on 8/18/2007 6:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
dude i got so much old sony stuff, because everything i've ever owned by sony has broke. lol

RE: Good idea
By piroroadkill on 8/20/2007 4:31:11 AM , Rating: 2
It was a HP LaserJet 4

RE: Good idea
By bfonnes on 8/18/2007 7:22:50 PM , Rating: 3
No way!! I think that photo is from What could be cooler than someone smashing a ps3 in front of a bunch of fans waiting in line at Best Buy to buy one on release day?!? Brilliant photo. Great idea on the recycling program Sony! Sure, it isn't enough to restore faith in Corporate America, but it shows a good example.

RE: Good idea
By marvdmartian on 8/17/2007 11:02:56 AM , Rating: 2
You know, while I can't speak of other locations, and certainly not of larger cities, where I live (in TX), there's no recycling fee........mostly because there's no recycling required! You wanna charge me to recycle this electronic item? Screw that, it's going in the garbage!!

Now, I do support recycling of old electronics, mostly because I understand what throwing them in landfills does to the soil & water table, and realize how much we save on precious metals by not just throwing them out. But in areas like mine, where people can throw them out just as easily as recycle them, there's no incentive to recycle!

While I applaud Sony for their part in allowing people in other areas of the country to recycle their used electronics, the very thought of having to pay someone to take my old electronics is foreign to me, and (IMHO) not something that's ever going to encourage people to recycle. In my mind, if they want old electronics recycled, they need to make it zero cost to the consumer, to encourage the practise. Let's face it, they're not losing money on recycling, are they?

RE: Good idea
By psychmike on 8/17/2007 11:27:47 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with you that recycling should be made as easy as possible for the public, but there are often costs associated with recycling that aren't recouped fully through the sale of the recycled materials.

In Toronto, where I live, there's a pretty significant program to divert waste from landfill. We have a blue box program where aluminum, most plastics, and paper is recycled and a green box program where almost everything else that is organic (food waste, used paper towel)is composted. People just put their blue and green boxes on the curb, just like garbage. I believe that they're going to start charging people who produce more than one can of garbage per week to further encourage use of the recycling and composting programs.

It is my understanding that at different times, different parts of the program have made money while other parts have lost money. Of course, that has to be weighed against the cost (economic, environmental, social) of transportation and dumping, which isn't cheap in a big city with high property values. I believe that most people think it's the right thing to do and are willing to bear extra costs through their taxes. I guess here, recycling is just a way of life. I even pay out of my pocket to recycle some things that don't go into the blue box program.

I don't mean to be adversarial or judgmental, but often on these forums I'm struck by some Americans' strong sense of individualism. I often hear many of my brothers to the south saying that they should be able to do what they want and a skepticism or cynicism about pursuing the common good. I think American individualism is a great strength and has obviously led to great cultural and industrial innovation. Yes, I've read my Alexis Tocqueville. But I do wonder if that strong sense of personal freedom comes up against ideas of the common good and problems associated with community. I'm reminded of the dilemma of the commons in which the pursuit of personal good makes sense on the individual level but falls apart when everyone does it (e.g., running for the exits during a fire or sharing a limited resource).


RE: Good idea
By omnicronx on 8/17/2007 11:44:09 AM , Rating: 2
Ya i live in oshawa (for those that dont know, its outside of toronto) and we have the same system, we have a 4 bag limit per household too, anything more and they leave it on the curb. They are starting to charge people here for more than 4 bags, too if you wish to get it picked up anyways. Toronto mainly used to dump most of its garbage in Michigan, but new state laws disallow this, and landfills quickly started to fill up. Eventually the same will happen in most big urban areas and you will be forced to recycle too, whether or not you think its your 'right'

RE: Good idea
By Lord Evermore on 8/19/2007 8:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
Michigan was importing Canadian garbage?

RE: Good idea
By Martimus on 8/20/2007 7:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "was"? We still import it ... grrr

RE: Good idea
By omnicronx on 8/17/2007 11:27:49 AM , Rating: 3
How much of a fee could it possibly be? you are not willing to pay a few bucks to get rid of your old junk, that otherwise would rot in a landfill for 100 years? Where i live they don't even allow you to throw out recyclable products anymore, if they think your garbage has recyclable material in it, they open it up and leave it on your driveway, furthermore they only pick up garbage every second week. Recycling is becoming a must, landfills are filling quickly and soon many states will not be able to support their own garbage. Unless you want to be the next Naples, i would strongly recommend reconsidering your 'no incentive attitude'.
they're not losing money on recycling, are they?
They probably are, recycling is a costly process, and it usually costs more to recycle products than can be made back from the usable recycled products. Sony will be taking a loss on this one, its a PR move, a good one at that, and i am surprised by sony on this one. Since when does sony help out the public at their expense?

RE: Good idea
By Lonearchon on 8/17/2007 12:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
They will only lose money on the plastics in the electronics. All the metal can be recycle for a profit.Also for electronic there is a good change that the connectors are plated with gold so there could be a good profit to be had depending on item received.

RE: Good idea
By omnicronx on 8/17/2007 2:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
The salvageable metals they get out of recycling is not nearly that of the cost to process the rest of the recyclable materials. Recycling still costs more money than they get back in return, but it still has its advantages over throwing things out.

Weirdly enough even after all the administration fees, collection fees etc.. usually puts municipalities in the red, it still costs more to throw things out. An example of this is recycle a ton or so of paper may cost the municipality $25-30, but if they were to send that same ton to the dump they could end up paying upwards of >$100. I have heard some people call this 'Cost avoidance' as money is still being lost, but at a lower pace, and with positive environmental benefits.

One thing i have to also point out is the amount of materials that contain silicon that will have to be recycled. And let me tell you its not an easy process, it requires many time consuming steps to recover the silicone monomers and silicone oligomers from the decomposed silicone compound. This is probably one of the 'some types of materials' that sony mentions that people will have to pay a recycling fee for.

RE: Good idea
By marvdmartian on 8/17/2007 4:27:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think maybe you missed my point. I support recycling, and do more than my part to make certain that my paper, aluminum & plastics are turned in to a recycling center (lucky for me, where I work we recycle everything, and I can simply turn that stuff in there).

What I said was, if you want to get wholesale acceptance of recycling to happen, you have to make it no cost to the consumer (and thus, generator) of the items you want recycled. Like what's said below, add it to the taxes, or to the cost of the items when purchased (who's going to notice an extra 3-cents on a gallon of milk or 2-liter bottle of soda??), and no one will bitch about it. Make people pay up front, and they don't notice.....make them pay to recycle, and they'll fight it.

Plus, you have to consider that the state I live in, Texas, has an abundance of land for landfills, so there's less of a worry about recycling (the city I live in, with 100K population, has NO forced recycling). Consider this..... we could have a landfill that's 2.5 times the size of Rhode Island, and it would still only take up 1% of our land mass!

I'm not saying that no recycling is right, I'm just saying that it's not going to be welcomed here, if people have to pay for it. :)

RE: Good idea
By Homerboy on 8/17/2007 12:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well technically you do get charged for your garbage too. Its called taxes. I have no issues with charging people for recycling. You used the product, you should pay to dispose of it in a proper manner.

Now those charges SHOULD be built into your taxes directly, as is your sewer, garbage etc. There shouldn't be any specific and direct "surcharge" for recycling. If they added $100/year onto your taxes for the recycling fee you wouldn't even bat an eye. But because its a direct fee, it seems more painful.

I just sell my old stuff
By Christopher1 on 8/17/2007 2:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
I just sell my old stuff, in all honesty. In 20 years of playing video games, I have absolutely NEVER had a console system break, unless I drop it like I did to my original XBox, which I only dropped that once and all other consoles never.

I have tossed some old game controllers, which I was seriously bummed about, because I would have liked to recycle them and keep some of that stuff from getting into the landfills.

This is really something that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (who I usually say is getting involved in things they shouldn't) should be getting involved in and mandating!
There should be a day one time every month where people can bring their old, busted electronics to the dump and have it recycled.
Though, when I was throwing out my old computer, I scavenged EVERYTHING off it - screws, mounts (under the motherboard), the slot covers on the back, etc.

By the time I was done, there was only a skeleton of aluminum left, even the plastic was put out for recycling since I noticed it was number 2 plastic.
The only thing I couldn't figure out how to recycle was..... the motherboard, and that was after surfing the internet for 5 hours trying to find a recycling place nearby my home or at least in the state of Maryland.

RE: I just sell my old stuff
By dude on 8/18/2007 1:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
Maryland has plenty of recycle centers.

I live in Philly and work in NJ doing recycling of old computer, peripherals, electronics, and metals. Believe it or not, the motherboard, pound for pound, is the most expensive part in recycle $ worth, next to the individual add-in cards. Then comes the hard drive, then the power supply and cdrom/floppy drives. The steel chassis and plastic are worth very little, however, in volume, is still worth a few cents a pound. Pound for pound, the power/data/monitor/dvi cables are worth more than the power supply and floppy/cdrom combined!

We get in alot of defect Cisco, HP, and IBM boards and they get sent to be destroyed and recycled. You would not believe the amount of this stuff that comes in to us on a weekly basis. Usually, a few tons a week at minimum. So when your Cisco, HP, IBM, or other server component costs so much, you know why... the defect rate _during_ manufacturing is very very high! That, or Quality Control is really really high! :)

RE: I just sell my old stuff
By Christopher1 on 8/19/2007 3:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
Maryland does have plenty of recycling centers, however the ones that are accessible to regular consumers like myself will not take computer components. They will only take aluminum, plastics that have the recycling number 1 or 2 on them, etc.

They won't take any motherboards, hard drives, etc... though I pretty much take care of that by disassembling any hard drive that goes bad (have only had one at home), taking all the screws and stuff out, then putting it out for recycling in the normal metal recycles.

one to one ratio
By Martimus on 8/19/2007 10:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
I love how they set a goal to get a one to one ratio of broken equipment to new equipment sold. That means that they expect everything they sell to break. Very nice goal to set, indeed.

RE: one to one ratio
By Korr on 8/20/2007 1:05:26 AM , Rating: 2
I love how you never learned how to read properly. You should make that your goal.

...the company expects to reach its goal of recycling one pound of old consumer electronics equipment for every pound of new products sold.

The only time the word "broken" was mentioned was in the title which DT wrote up, not Sony.

RE: one to one ratio
By Martimus on 8/20/2007 12:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
That was so nice of you to try to insult me. I feel so blessed.

Sony's quality is too high for this....
By Conman530 on 8/17/2007 3:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
Its not like M$ or Dell that has this program, every product from those companies that I have has broken 1 time or another...

Every sony product I have is still in almost new condition: an old cassette walkman from the early 1980s, my Playstation (the old gray square one), my Playstation 2 (original version), and all of the peripherals. I even have a set of 6 sony 1.44MB floppy disks that still function fine. I find it hard to believe that sony will be able to find all of this defective stuff to recycle... their QC is too high. :D

By omnicronx on 8/17/2007 3:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
Or maybe when you buy an expensive product, you implement your own quality control. If i were to buy a Lexus, and a Ford, which one do you think i am going to take after better?
Sony makes quality products, but unless you take care of them they are no better than any other comparable product after 10-15 years =P . i'm really a sony hater this week..

catch up
By Murst on 8/17/2007 4:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
1:1 is an impressive goal.

But first, they'll have to catch up to Microsoft's 1:3 performance.

RE: catch up
By 3kliksphilip on 8/17/2007 6:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
If everybody did 1:1 then the world would be a much better place. I secretly put all of the Mcdonalds happy meal containers on the card board recycling. (It's interesting, working in a place like Mcdonalds)

If recycle means
By Dfere on 8/17/2007 1:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
resell in another country. Does anyone know if they are doing this program in all markets, or are doing this to resell in other markets?

If they can take back a game and recycyle components, great, but I don't think this is economically feasible. The other alternative they are funding the take back progam by revenue generated, which would be resales..... At least on anything saleable.

Who'da thunk it?
By mindless1 on 8/21/2007 8:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sony doing something that isn't self-serving for a change? In related news, hell just froze over.

All kidding aside, I think Sony is a company that can change it's ways, but it's going to take a little more than just this to win back the alienated consumers.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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