Share

Manufacturers Recycling Report Card

report card banner

The report card grades take back and recycling programs offered by computer, TV, printer and game console companies. Grades are out of a total of 100 possible points, and grading was done “on a curve.”

Click on the company name to open individual report card for the company (in PDF). Or click here to open a PDF with all the grade sheets in one document.

For details on the question and how we grade, see our explanation of grading. View companies alphabetically with their grades.

Grades Computer Companies TV Companies Printers Companies Game Consoles
A grade No companies earned A’s for their recycling programs.
b grade Dell
b minus Asus Samsung earns a B but also a dishonorable mention
c+ Apple LGBest Buy

Walmart

c Sharp
C minus HPToshiba HP
D+ MitsubishiPanasonic
Acer SonyVizio Sony
d- Lenovo MicrosoftNintendo
F FunaiHitachi

JVC

Philips

Sanyo

Target

RCA/Thomson

BrotherEpson

Lexmark

Kodak

Canon

Overview:

Expanded report card for 2010

This year we expanded our report card from televisions (graded in 2008 and 2009) to include computer, printer and game console companies. (A separate report card on printer company toner takeback will be released shortly.)

Emphasis on transparency, volumes, responsible recycling

Key grading criteria:

  • How extensive are the takeback programs, especially in states that don’t have strong laws requiring them to do so, including:
    • How many collection sites are in each state?
    • How much volume is coming back?
  • Are products being recycled responsibly (not exported)
  • What are the companies doing to promote reuse and closed loop recycling?
  • Positions on government policies related to recycling
  • Transparency in reporting – required to evaluate all criteria

Improvements in many existing programs, but many companies still doing nothing

Improvements in TV Takeback programs.

Just three years ago, no TV company had a national takeback and recycling program, the digital conversion was fast approaching and the TV companies were busy lobbying against state recycling laws.  ETBC launched our Take Back My TV campaign in 2008, and now eight of the largest TV manufacturers and two retailers with national takeback programs, a significant improvement in only two years. Mitsubishi and Vizio joined the MRM recycling partnership (with Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sharp) for their national program. LG and Samsung have both grown their program significantly. Sony’s program has shrunk somewhat, with fewer collection sites than before.

Still, some large players in the TV sector are doing nothing except where state laws require them, notably Funai, Philips, RCA. Target still does not take back it’s house brand of TV.

Computer Company Takeback

Dell leads the entire industry in the number of collection sites and collection volumes, earning the highest grade (a B). Dell started with a mail back program, but has added a considerable ground game with its partnership with Goodwill’s Reconnect program and with Staples. Dell lost points for lack of transparency on its recycling vendors and therefore verification of performance. HP scored a disappointing C minus.

Printer Companies Dead Last

All the printer companies except for HP flunked this report card. Brother and Kodak have no takeback program for old equipment at all. But Epson, Lexmark, and Canon all only offer mailback programs (not physical collection) and lack transparency on most aspects of their programs, including standards for responsible recycling. Because consumer printers have become so cheap as to be almost disposable, we think it’s critical for printer companies to beef up their efforts to take back and recycle their old products.

Game Companies

We rated the top three console makers, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony (which has been taking back TVs since 2007). Microsoft made progress earlier this year by partnering with Goodwill for collection sites but they offer no disclosure about their vendors and how products are being managed. Nintendo had little information on its website until last month, so it appears its program is just getting started.

How we graded

Grading was based on information available on their websites as of Sep 15, 2010.  For a list of the grading criteria and explanations, see our Explanation of Grading. We will periodically update this grading.