Earth911, a subsidiary of Quest Resource Holding Corp., Frisco, Texas, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI),Washington, D.C., have joined forces on a new public awareness initiative called Project Reboot, which is designed to increase and encourage the safe and secure recycling of household electronics.
Project Reboot aims to bring together businesses, corporations and civic groups to educate the public on the need to responsibly recycle electronics. Year-long education efforts will focus not only on the need to recycle electronics but also on the importance of doing so responsibly through a recycler certified to handle electronics at the highest level of environmental, health and worker safety standards and that guarantees secure destruction of all personal data. In addition, there will be an electronics recycling pledge, social media components (including an interactive Facebook page), print materials on how and where to safely recycle, recycling and reuse tips and more.
“People too often clamor for the latest technology with little knowledge of how to responsibly recycle the gadgets they are replacing,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “The goal of this initiative is to educate people on the environmental, economic and social responsibility of proper electronics recycling and ultimately to increase the rate over the coming year.”
“The ability for consumers to find electronic recycling opportunities in their community are essential to ensure these obsolete devices are properly handled,” says Brian Dick, Earth911 chief executive officer. “Our partnership with ISRI and its membership will help educate consumers and help them locate responsible recyclers in their area. We are excited to assist ISRI to create awareness and provide options to an ever growing industry.”
According to a Harris Interactive survey, nearly 70 percent of American adults have recycled at least one type of small electronic product in the past. Such products include ink or toner cartridges, cell phones, desktop monitors, laptops, printers, computers, keyboards and mice. That still leaves nearly 75 million Americans (31 percent) who have never recycled electronics, primarily because they did not have the information needed to do so, ISRI alleges. This figure includes 39 percent of younger adults ages 18-34 who have never recycled small electronics. Among the reasons given for not recycling (respondents had the option of choosing multiple reasons):
- 26 percent did not know where to recycle electronics;
- 16 percent did not know how to recycle them securely;
- 14 percent did not know their device(s) could be recycled;
- 12 percent thought it was too much trouble to recycle; and
- 6 percent thought the device(s) were supposed to be disposed of in the trash.
The survey also found that despite the lack of information regarding electronics recycling, 97 percent of American adults would recycle their small electronics.
According to ISRI, Project Reboot’s success will be measured through surveying consumer knowledge and attitudes as well as available statistics on the collection rates of household used electronics.