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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 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. :)

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