US in first electronic recycling steps

Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba have teamed up to form the Electronics Manufacturers Recycling Management company (MRM) to provide a recycling service to other electronics manufacturers, state and local government authorities.

In the US, there is no WEEE and so no country-wide electronics kit recycling facilities. Sony has set up national recycling facilities in the USA but only for its own products.

Minnesota recently enacted new state laws specifying the recycling of used electronic kit by manufacturers. Other states are expected to follow suit.

MRM already operates in Minnesota and the Pollution Control Agency Commissioner, Brad Moore, said: "In the first five months since Minnesota's new electronic recycling law took effect, MRM collected approximately 750 tons of used products - a significant amount."

"We are pleased with MRM's effort in being the first manufacturer organisation to offer convenient recycling service to citizens in all parts of our state, and hope it works to decrease illegal dumping of waste electronic products."

David Thompson, MRM president, said: "We believe that forming an independent company to manage collective electronic recycling programs is the best way to achieve the economies of scale and efficiencies necessary to create a sustainable recycling system for used electronics products. MRM has already entered into collection and recycling agreements with Hitachi Electronics, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo and Olevia brand maker Syntax-Brillian, and looks forward to working with other manufacturers going forward."

MRM plans to expand its programs to other states this year and next, including Connecticut, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington. It also anticipates working with concerned stakeholders to develop a viable, long-term recycling scheme for the entire USA. That must surely involve the US Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA.

It's good to know that on this front Europe is far ahead of the USA.

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