Following the Feb. 27, 2014, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Recycling Electronics: A Common Sense Solution for Enhancing Government Efficiency and Protecting Our Environment, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, D.C., issued a news release praising committee Chairman Tom Carper and the United States Postal Service (USPS) for their innovative solutions to increasing household electronics recycling.
“As the fastest growing segment of the scrap recycling industry, there are enormous economic and environmental benefits to electronics recycling,” ISRI President Robin Wiener says. “Yet, there still remains an enormous untapped potential as the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 25 percent of used household electronic products eligible for recycling are actually recycled, with the rest sent to landfills or remaining in storage. USPS collection of used electronics products will go a long way toward ensuring more enter the recycling stream and create more jobs here in the U.S.”
Electronics recycling provides a boost of approximately $20.6 billion, including exports of $1.45 billion, to the U.S. economy and employs more than 45,000 full time employees, according to ISRI. In 2011, the U.S. electronics recycling industry processed more than 4.4 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics equipment. More than 70 percent of the collected equipment is manufactured into specification grade commodities, including scrap steel, aluminum, copper, lead, circuit boards, plastics, and glass, the trade association says.
“Creating opportunities for consumers to easily recycle electronics is a good first step, but it is also necessary to ensure the electronics will be processed responsibly through a certified recycler,” Weiner says. “This will guarantee materials are being handled in an environmentally sound and safe manner.”
She continues, “Sen. Carper has always been a true champion of recycling. We commend him for his work as chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus and promoting responsible recycling. The recycling community looks forward to working closely with him in the future.”
ISRI serves as the largest organization representing electronics recyclers, with nearly 400 member companies that handle electronics at more than 675 locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. It partners with Earth911 on the initiative Project Reboot to educate consumers on the importance of electronics recycling. It also works with the Consumer Electronics Association on the CRT Challenge to develop solutions for recycling old cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions and monitors.