EPA Applauds Electronics Industry Leaders for Recycling Achievements

WASHINGTON (March 3, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes contributions in sustainable design and electronics recycling as part of the 8th annual Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge awards.

“It’s going to take all of us working together to build a sustainable future, and I applaud the organizations recognized today for their leadership in essential electronic recycling efforts,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Electronics are a global economic driver with supply chains that reach around the world and products that play a big role in our daily lives. Because of these organizations’ efforts, we’re able to recover and recycle valuable resources like precious metals, critical minerals, plastics, and glass.”

“We congratulate the companies recognized by EPA for their outstanding leadership and innovation in electronics recycling,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA). “This year’s winners demonstrate the consumer technology industry’s significant progress on reducing e-waste to create a more sustainable future for generations to come.”

EPA SMM Electronics Challenge Gold Tier Award

EPA’s Gold Tier Award is presented to organizations with exemplary electronics collection and recycling programs. The 2021 recipients of this award are:

  • Dell Technologies (Round Rock, Texas)
  • LG Electronics USA, Inc. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
  • Samsung Electronics (Montville, N.J.)
  • Sony Electronics, Inc. (San Diego)
  • Staples (Framingham, Mass.)
  • TCL North America (Corona, Calif.)
  • T-Mobile (Bellevue, Wash.)
  • VIZIO, Inc. (Irvine, Calif.)
  • Xerox Corporation (Webster, N.Y.)

EPA SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Award

EPA also honored LG Electronics USA, Inc. and Dell Technologies as the SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for exemplifying leadership and innovative processes and products that focus on environmentally responsible ways to best use product materials throughout their life cycle.

  • Dell is receiving the Cutting-Edge Award for prioritizing sustainability in setting a goal of creating more than half of their product content from recycled or renewable materials by 2030, such as using bioplastics from tree waste.
  • LG is receiving the Product Award this year for developing LG Sound Bars composed of recycled materials, created with a focus on reducing environmental impact in every phase of the life cycle.

EPA SMM Electronics Challenge Sustained Excellence Award

New this year, EPA launched an award for cutting-edge innovations that demonstrated sustained excellence since the launch of the program in 2012.

  • Dell Technologies received this award for their circular design approach to sourcing aluminum, a critical mineral, for hard drives found in certain Dell computers, resulting in a 10-percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.
  • EPA also presented this award to Samsung Electronics for creating a solar powered remote control composed of 24-percent recycled material, estimated to reduce 6,000 tons of GHG emissions per year and for preventing the wastage of millions of batteries each year.

EPA is strengthening efforts to reduce, reuse and recover materials and products, such as plastics, electronics, food, cement, and concrete. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are­ crucial for saving natural resources (such as timber and water), reducing pollution, and decreasing the need to create new materials. These are all important considerations to establish a circular economy, an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by design. It is a change to the model in which resources are mined, made into products, and then become waste. A circular economy reduces materials use, redesigns materials and products to be less resource-intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource to manufacture new materials and products. This is important because natural resource extraction and processing makes up half of all GHG emissions.

Together, the amount of GHG emissions saved through the recycling efforts of these companies is equivalent to taking more than 92,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year. In 2018, the United States generated some 2.7 million tons of electronics waste. Of that amount, 38.5 percent was recycled, with the remainder combusted with energy recovery or landfilled.

Overall, Electronics Challenge participants collectively:

  • Diverted more than 158,000 tons of end-of-life electronics from landfills, 100 percent of which was sent to third-party certified recyclers, and
  • Avoided the equivalent of nearly 430,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

More information for consumers to find a location to donate or recycle their electronics:

More information on the SMM Electronics Challenge and award winners:

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