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New TV Recycling Report Card shows many TV companies still have no recycling programs, even though Digital TV Conversion Contributes to E-Waste

Media Center: Press Release

Digital TV Conversion Contributes to E-Waste
But No Recycling Programs for Some TV Companies

(San Francisco, CA – June 11, 2009)  With the digital TV conversion occurring on Friday June 12, there will be more e-waste that needs to be disposed of properly. But many TV manufacturers, including a market leader, still offer no electronics recycling program, according to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, who published its TV Company Recycling Report Card today.

“With the upcoming digital TV conversion looming before us, many people don’t know where to take their old TVs, said Electronics TakeBack Coalition National Coordinator Barbara Kyle.  “There are some responsible manufactures and retailers who offer takeback programs, but unfortunately not all – including market leader Vizio.”

Most of the six TV manufacturers who offer takeback programs (Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba) improved their scores on the report card from November 2008, moving up from D’s to C’s or better. And retailer Best Buy has launched a national takeback program in all 1,006 of its stores, which accepts TVs up to 32 inches for a $10 fee.  Companies getting F’s on the report card include Vizio, Funai, Mistubishi, Philips, JVC, Sanyo, and retailer Target.

“Vizio flat out flunks  – they’re a top seller of flat panel TVs in the US who has no takeback program,” said Kyle. “Vizio is seeing tremendous growth even during these economic times, yet they lag far behind their competitors when it comes to taking responsibility for recycling their old products.”

Vizio was the second largest seller of flat panel TVs in the first quarter of 2009, behind Samsung, according to Display Search, an industry market research firm.

Overall, the number of collection sites in these voluntary TV takeback programs are small, often just a few in an entire state. But the Electronics TakeBack Coalition found that TV companies try harder in states with strong producer responsibility laws than in states with no laws.

“The Electronics TakeBack Coalition applauds companies who are doing voluntary takeback programs, and we hope to see growth in these efforts,” said Kyle. “In order to increase the number of takeback programs, states still need to pass strong laws to give companies an incentive to do the right thing.”

New programs that began in January in Washington and Oregon, which have laws mandating convenient e-waste collection, are already showing impressive numbers of e-waste being collected. Washington is collecting three million pounds a month, more than half of it being televisions.

Links:

June 2009 TV Recycling Report Card

Information on TV company market share: Displaysearch

E-Waste collection volumes by state