CE Recycling Awareness On the Rise

Inside CEA’s CE Recycling and Reuse 2012 Edition

My neighborhood discussion group often posts emails about CE products they want to sell, give away or recycle. The entire community seems duly concerned about not adding to the waste stream. One neighbor would not upgrade to a flat panel television (TV) until she could find a home for her 10-year-old analog set. “It’s easy-to-use, has a large screen and free,” she said.

No problem; the TV, converter box and antenna were all snatched up in minutes. So I wasn’t surprised when CEA’s CE Recycling and Reuse 2012 Edition study found that nine in ten consumers believe it’s important to recycle their CE devices.

The follow-up neighborhood discussion was about which replacement TV she should buy and where. CEA’s GreenerGadgets.org website has a video for this: Tips for Making Smart Green Electronic Purchases for anyone who’s interested. I knew, like those consumers in our study, my neighbor would be looking at environmentally friendly attributes for her new TV, such as EnergyStar, green packaging and the like.

Nor was I shocked that our findings found that televisions are top-on-the-list for leaving the house. Next out the door were mobile devices like phones and tablets (a smartphone’s average lifespan is 18 months, while a TV is more than 10 years).

But there were some other details in the CE Recycling and Reuse study made me step back a bit.
One as that at least 63 percent of consumers know where to recycle CE products now, up 9 percent since 2010 when CEA last reported on awareness. But we still have a way to go. Of the 12 percent of CE owners who reported putting a used CE device in the trash bin during the last 12 months, most cited convenience as the driving factor for their choice.

Among the 26 percent of consumers who have recycled CE in the past year, dropping the product off at a recycling center (30 percent) was the top means of recycling. Of those people, 19 percent dropped the item off at a local CE retailer. U.S. adults said they would be more likely to recycle if they knew it would be given to someone in need who couldn’t afford it (89 percent), or if they knew the product would be recycled safely and responsibly (87 percent).

Retailers have the opportunity to empower and engage consumers in green behaviors by educating them on thebenefits of recycling CE. As a cooperative effort among CE manufacturers and retailers, the eCycling Leadership Initiative seeks to improve consumer awareness of the almost 7,500 collection sites currently sponsored by industry.

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