Consumer Technology Association reports record electronics recycling rate

Consumer Technology Association reports record electronics recycling rate

More than 700 million pounds of consumer electronics were recycled in 2015 through the eCycling Leadership Initiative.

The Arlington, Virginia-based Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced a record-setting 700 million pounds of consumer electronics (CE) have been recycled under the eCycling Leadership Initiative (ELI). According to the Fifth Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative, the consumer technology industry is recycling in record numbers for the fifth consecutive year.

“It’s a testament to our industry’s commitment to increasing sustainability that even as our industry creates less waste by innovating lighter, smaller devices, we continue to see recycling increases each year,” says Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “This fifth annual report exemplifies the tremendous strides our industry can make in just a single year. Consumers have access to more recycling options than ever before, approaching our goal of making it as easy to recycle old devices as it is to purchase new ones.”

ELI’s annual recycling total increased by more than 6 percent in 2015—40 million pounds above the 2014 level and more than double the amount recycled before the initiative’s inception in 2010 (300 million pounds). The ELI program, led by CTA, is a collaboration among CE manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, nongovernmental organizations and governments at all levels to advance the industry’s sustainability efforts.

Other highlights of the ELI report include:
  • By the end of 2015, nearly all (99.9 percent) of the recycling facilitated by ELI’s participants was conducted in third-party-certified recycling facilities. 
  • More than 8,300 responsible recycling locations are now available to consumers throughout the United States. 
  • In partnership with Young Minds Inspired, CTA produced and distributed school curriculum programs on ecycling in English and Spanish for fourth through sixth grade classes;
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) most recent report on municipal solid waste, CE products are now the fastest-declining product category for both waste generation and disposal.
“The leadership shown from this initiative’s participants has been nothing short of extraordinary,” says Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability, CTA. “Our industry is making better, more efficient products, which has resulted in CE becoming the fastest-declining portion of the country’s solid waste stream—part of the proof the environmental footprint of the CE industry is shrinking as products become lighter, less material-intensive and more energy efficient. And under the eCycling Leadership Initiative, we are further reducing e-waste by providing consumers the ability to properly recycle it.”

To locate electronics recycler sites and for more information, visit

In January, The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, announced that the CTA, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), had become a funding partner.