In today’s world, there is an ever-increasing number of new electronics. According to the EPA, the average American household uses about 24 electronic products — including personal computers, smartphones, televisions and other gadgets. Yet many consumers struggle with the decision of how to discard their obsolete technology, resulting in more than 2 million tons of electronic waste annually. One way this staggering issue is being addressed is through the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company’s mission of developing a responsible way for manufacturers and consumers to recycle electronics. Co-founded in 2007 by Sharp Electronics Corporation, Panasonic Corporation of North America and Toshiba America Consumer Products, MRM has since recycled approximately 290 million pounds of electronics at 1,800 sites across the U.S. The EPA stresses electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics and glass, which require energy to mine and manufacture. Consumers are encouraged to donate or recycle their electronics because this conserves natural resources, eschews air and water pollution and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Before taking part in MRM’s recycling program, every consumer should ask himself or herself, “Do I really need this brand new device?” An alternative to consider is upgrading the hardware or software as opposed to buying a brand new product. Plus, refurbishing technology is often cheaper than buying new. However, not all electronics can be saved, so consumers should therefore delete all personal information from previously used electronics. In addition, battery removal (when applicable) is necessary because these items must be recycled separately. According to MRM, the program only utilizes recyclers whose practices comply with all applicable laws, including but not limited to adequate record keeping, tracking the fate of recycled materials, performance audits and inspections, provisions for reuse refurbishment and financial assurances. To help consumers find these recyclers, MRM includes a state-by-state listing that provides an easy way to find your nearest recycling center. MRM welcomes long-term relationships and implements ethical and sustainable practices with electronic companies like Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba and VIZIO. This big six participates in MRM’s national voluntary program that was launched in January 2009, ultimately providing recycling opportunities for consumers in every U.S. state. MRM states that although there may be many advances in electronic product technology, the benefits associated with the enjoyment of electronics and new technologies comes with responsibilities. MRM serves as a reminder to consumers to recycle their old electronics instead of carelessly tossing them in the trash.
Producer Recycling Responsibility with MRM
The Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company has developed a responsible way for manufacturers and consumers to recycle electronics.