TV Recycling Picks Up Speed with LG, Waste Management Partnership

TV Recycling Picks Up Speed with LG, Waste Management Partnership

LG Electronics yesterday announced a new partnership with Waste Management that aims to keep thousands of now-outdated displays out of landfills.

The two firms are teaming up to recycle televisions and computer monitors from hundreds of hotels around the country, as the lodging industry embraces flat-panel and high-definition televisions for guestrooms; the two companies expect to collect and responsibly recycle thousands of displays during the first year of the partnership alone.

"As the lodging industry seeks to increase its environmentally conscious initiatives, the LG program gives hotel operators the opportunity to conveniently recycle electronic waste responsibly and economically," Patrick DeRueda, president of WM Recycle America, said in a statement. He added that the program helps Waste Management work to reach its goal of tripling the amount of recyclable materials the company processes by 2020.

The displays collected through the partnership will be processed at Waste Management's 200 recycling centers nationwide, where they will be recycled in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Responsible Recycling (R2) guidelines. The guidelines, which were released last year and certifications of which began this fall, required e-waste recyclers to abide by the following guidelines:

• Develop and use a management system that covers environmental, worker safety and public health practices on-site and downstream management of end-of-life (EOL) equipment and materials;
• Establish a policy that promotes reuse and materials recovery for [end of life] equipment and materials;
• Comply with environmental, health, and safety legal requirements, both domestically and internationally, that are applicable to the recyclers' operations;
• Use practices to reduce exposures and emissions during recycling operations;
• Export (or arrange for the export of) focus materials only to foreign countries that accept them.

The only e-waste regulations currently on the books in the United States currently only covers cathode-ray televisions and monitors, although a report published last fall found that those laws were only sporadically enforced.

Also on the television-recycling front this week, the U.S. EPA yesterday named Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM) the winner of its inaugural TV Recycling Challenge. The award recognizes innovation and expansion of consumer-facing TV recycling programs as part of the EPA's "Plug In to e-Cycling" project.

The award comes in preparation for National Recycling Day on November 15, and recognizes MRM for not just the amount of e-waste the company collected -- more than 3 million pounds between January and September 2009 -- but also on the innovation, longevity and partnerships developed in collecting the waste.

Sony and Samsung each received honorable mentions for the award; Sony in part for increasing the number of its collection locations from 164 to 274 sites nationwide, and Samsung in part for covering the cost of recycling more than 2 million pounds of TV waste in states without mandatory or funding e-waste recycling programs.

For more information on the TV Recycling Challenge and recycling electronics, vist EPA.gov/plugin.

Monitor photos CC-licensed by Flickr users Don Fulano and youngthousands.