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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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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).

Mike


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


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