Group urges Samsung to recycle

By Stephany Garza The Daily Texan

Media Center – Press Coverage

Group urges Samsung to recycle

The Daily Texan
August 8th 2008
By Stephany Garza
Protestors say company is behind on recycling program for electronics

Protesters gathered outside Austin’s Samsung plant to show their disapproval of the electronics company for not offering its consumers a free nationwide recycling program for television sets, computers and other electronic devices.

Members of the Texas Campaign for the Environment, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that campaigns for public health issues, wore track suits with LG, Sony and Samsung logos similar to suits worn by Olympians representing different countries. The “gold medal” of the protest was given to LG and Sony, which already offer recycling programs.

Representatives with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the largest seller of flat-panel screens and an official Olympics sponsor, refused to comment about the protest.

Gary Miller, senior security manager at Samsung, speaks with protesters Sara Larrimer and Robin Schneider about environmentally friendly programs.

“We’re hearing from Goodwill that TVs are flooding in like never before,” said Robin Schneider, director of the campaign.

Starting Sept. 1 under Texas law, all computer-equipment makers will be required to have a producer-takeback system in place. The protesters gathered at the Samsung plant to encourage the company to extend its recycling to all electronic waste.

“By September, Samsung has to have a computer recycling unit in place,” Schneider said. “As long as they’re setting up a computer recycling infrastructure, they should include other electronic waste as well.

The activists handed out flyers informing drivers of the toxic materials in electronic products, including lead, mercury and cadmium.

“Ironically, electronic waste gets dumped at other countries including China where the Olympic games are being held,” Schneider said.

Schneider said more than 80 percent of children in Guiya, China, the “most notorious e-scrap center of the world,” suffer from lead and other chemical poisonings, citing a story released by the BBC.

Schneider and other members of the campaign have protested twice before at the plant, including during the last Superbowl when Samsung was named the official high-definition sponsor.

The Texas Campaign for the Environment has also protested at other companies, including Dell, which implemented a free takeback program a year after the campaign’s protests.

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Rob Rourke, Collin Young and Sarah Frost, members of Texas Campaign for the Environment, participate in a demonstration outside Samsung Austin Semiconductor, protesting the company’s lack of an electronics recycling program.
Media Credit: May-Ying Lam