Electronics Recycling Catching Fire

We have a lot of neat data to report from our Sony Coupon program, which was rolled out during the past 6 months. As you may recall from the press on Earth Day 2009, our permanent E-Waste recycling program was embraced by Sony as a healthy alternative to "events". Since 83% of Vermont residents can recycle a TV 6 days per week at the same spot they accept tires, white goods, mattresses, and recyclables, the "Events" (like those sponsored by Samsung) kind of cannibalized the existing programs, especially those which had run for 6 or 7 years based on drop-off fees.

Sony has been in the game for awhile, and actually held one of the largest ewaste events on record, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA (over 480,000 lbs). They thought it made sense to pay as they go, and accepted our offer to basically act as a "redemption center" for their TVs.

The data shows that Sony TVs account for about 6% of the material we are getting in, less from commercial areas like Burlington, more from very rural areas. We are not seeing Sony TVs rush in which would not otherwise have been recycled, but we see people smiling and pleased not to have to pay the fee. The biggest complaint from residents has been, bar none, "But my TV isn't a Sony! Why doesn't mine have a sponsor?"

Sony is happy, and is asking Good Point Recycling to provide service to other states. Next week we hope to bring 4 more OEM manufacturers onto Vermont's coupon program. We don't even have to process the material here, we can add value just by pre-sorting and weighing it and tracking it through the system. If the do let us process it our way (with 22% reuse), they'll save money, but that's not necessary, they can support Vermont recyclers any way they want.

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