Almost everyone has one: that spare drawer, shopping bag, or hidden box filled with old cell phones and outdated tech. Our personal piles of unwanted devices may seem insignificant, but if you look at the statistics on a nationwide scale, the severity of electronic waste (e-waste) becomes increasingly clear.
Since 2012, Samsung has collected and recycled an annual average of 100 million pounds of e-waste in the United States. As the amount of e-waste continues to grow, so does the need for effective recycling programs to ensure that valuable resources are recovered. In addition to resource recovery, the many benefits of recycling e-waste include reduced environmental impacts from manufacturing and preventing contamination of groundwater near landfills.
In keeping with its mission to reimagine a better planet, Samsung is celebrating America Recycles Day by shining a spotlight on recycling initiatives. This nationally recognized day of awareness is more than just an annual observance, it’s a spark to continue building on the foundation of our sustainability efforts.
Taking an Innovative Approach
At Samsung, we believe environmental sustainability can go hand-in-hand with and is central to technological innovation. We take pride in committing to a range of ethical recycling programs, from doing our part in preventing e-waste from being exported to developing countries to creating responsible recovery solutions that provide easy, free access to consumers who want to join us in this mission to make a positive impact on the environment.
The initiatives we’ve implemented — like our Galaxy Upcycling, Certified Re-Newed devices, and Trade-In programs — help us move everyone toward a circular economy together. This means going beyond the conventional practice of using resources once and discarding them; instead, we’re helping you give your old product a new life, and minimizing its environmental impact throughout the entire lifecycle.
We’re honored to have our efforts recognized by trusted organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Recent distinctions include the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Gold Tier Award for Samsung’s leadership in responsible e-waste recycling, and a Champion Award in the Program Category for the Galaxy S10 eco-packaging. What’s more, the EPA has recognized Samsung’s environmental stewardship practices each year since the Sustainable Materials Management Program’s inception in 2014.
Committed to Responsible Recycling
When you participate in our Samsung Trade-In program or drop off an unwanted device at one of the thousands of our authorized or independent collection locations, including uBreakiFix and Samsung Experience Stores, you can feel confident knowing all products that we collect will be safely and ethically refurbished or recycled. By specifying our recycler’s adherence to third-party audited certification standards like E-Stewards, designed to promote best practices for global e-waste recycling, we strive to ensure that non-working electronic scrap is handled properly and never exported to the developing world.
When we receive working electronics, they are refurbished or repurposed and put back into use. The parts from non-working devices, including materials like glass, metals, and batteries, are reused in new Samsung products or sold for use by other industries. By following these processes diligently, we’re keeping valuable components in the supply chain and out of landfills.
An example of this circular economy in action is Samsung Certified Re-Newed. where possible, our refurbished smartphones deliver the performance and quality of a like-new device, but with a much lower carbon footprint.
We know it can be more difficult to recycle larger items like refrigerators and TVs, and often times they just get placed on the curb. That’s why Samsung has been running home appliance and home electronics recycling/trade-in pilot programs throughout 2021. These eco-conscious programs give consumers peace of mind knowing their large home appliances and electronics will be properly recycled – and not end up in a landfill.
Creating Innovative Technologies with Galaxy Upcycling
Our Galaxy Upcycling initiative allows customers to repurpose their Galaxy smartphones with new features and purposes. All it takes is a simple software update. Older Galaxy phones can be converted into a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices or other tools that make everyday life a little easier.
Not only is Samsung helping to extend the usability of its products through the Galaxy Upcycling initiative, but these efforts also save energy and finite resources that would otherwise be consumed in the manufacturing of new products.
Minimizing Waste with Product Repair
Just as we’re committed to diverting device waste, we’re dedicated to another important goal: making repairs and recycling as easy as product purchases.
We provide accessible and convenient repair options for our customers at 600 authorized mobile repair locations and nearly 2,000 authorized repair providers for home appliances and consumer electronics. As an industry leader in delivering reliable repair solutions, Samsung has also developed an Independent Service Provider program for trained repair professionals who are certified under the CTIA Wise mobile repairs program.
Our further adds to this extended network of authorized care providers. With this expansion, we’re making it easier for select Galaxy smartphone owners to access in-person support at over 100 Best Buy stores. As an Authorized Care Service Center, Best Buy meets Samsung’s highest quality repair standards with certified technicians specially trained to handle genuine Samsung parts.
As we work to expand these programs, our goal is to extend the life of our customers’ devices and contribute to their environmental sustainability goals.
And, it’s not just mobile devices and small electronics. Oftentimes, a simple repair can save large electronics and home appliances from ending up in the landfill – while saving consumers thousands of dollars in replacement costs. The average dishwasher repair cost, for example, typically falls between $160 and $300, while the average replacement cost can run upwards of $700¹.
The Bigger Picture
It is an essential part of Samsung’s mission to put the environment first for our customers and create solutions that enable a better future for our planet and for all of us. Through the initiatives outlined above, we’re bolstering our dedication to reducing e-waste on a global scale, diverting waste from landfills to recover valuable materials, promoting reuse and minimizing the carbon footprint across our product’s lifecycles.
Our objective is to move towards a circular economy in which we create a cycle of longevity, reuse, and recycling. Because ultimately, we’re driven by a desire we share with everyone: to sustain our planet for generations to come.
Above all, the best way to conserve resources is by making quality, long-lasting products. By strengthening the durability of our products and providing convenient repair services through its global service locations, including continuous software updates,