Motorola Expands E-Waste Takeback as Awareness of Problem Grows

Motorola Expands E-Waste Takeback as Awareness of Problem Grows

Motorola this week announced it was offering a free takeback and recycling program for all of its enterprise mobility equipment, making it easier for companies to responsibly dispose of electronics at the end of their useful lives.

The new initiatives covers a wide range of Motorola-branded equipment, ranging from two-way radios to in-vehicle mobile workstations, and from networking hardware to desktop computers. Takeback is free for companies, with smaller items recyclable by mail through Motorola's website, and larger items can be picked up by Motorola's recycling partners.

"Recycling conserves resources, reduces impact on the environment and makes good business sense," Tom Collins, Motorola's senior vice president for Worldwide Supply Chain & Operations and EMS, said in a statement. "We've established this program to make it easier for our customers to recycle, while supporting Motorola's goals of reducing the environmental impact of our own products."

Although the program is by and large free, Motorola said that some items my require freight charges to be paid by the customer.
The new e-waste takeback program expands on the companies recycling projects around the world, with some regions requiring takeback through the the European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) laws. Motorola has also set up takeback bins in retail outlets and service centers in other parts of the world.

Motorola's new project comes at the same time as a new survey conducted by Pike Research finds increasing awareness of the dangers of discarded electronic waste, as well as strong opinions on how best to deal with e-waste. Among the findings of Pike's research:

• 76 percent said that recycling was the best way to deal with end-of-life issues for electronics (as opposed to discarding or hoarding, presumably);
• 37 percent said e-waste should be free, with 35 percent more saying electronics should be recyclable at the curb along with other materials; and
• Perhaps unsurprisingly, 86 percent felt that the cost of e-waste recycling should not be paid by consumers, although only 10 percent said the cost should be borne by manufacturers;

E-waste has been in the news fairly often of late: Last week in particular saw state and local governments fighting two electronics industry trade group's attempt to halt an e-waste law in New York City, while research has found that the amounts of e-waste generated every year is on the rise and only likely to continue as more of the world acquires more and more gadgets.