State Electronics Recycling Challenge releases data

A voluntary program aiming to increase recycling amongst state and local governments is gaining steam.

The State Electronics Recycling Challenge, in operation since its pilot in 2007, has grown from 10 initial members in the northeast U.S. now includes 23 states and 89 partner – participating – government organizations.  Funded by the U.S. EPA and private industry, the program now has members across the nation.

“Collectively, state and local governments purchase more than $35 billion worth of technology equipment annually; providing an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in the environmentally sound and cost-effective management of computer equipment,” the organization states on its website. “The SEC helps state, tribal, local, and regional governments, schools and agencies to become leaders and face the challenges posed by this waste stream. And, it’s a great opportunity to get teachers and students involved in environmental action.”

Participating partner governments agree to:

  • Purchase greener computer equipment by selecting EPEAT® registered products .
  • Reduce the impacts of computers during use.
  • Manage obsolete computers in an environmentally safe way.

Organizations that sign on to the program receive technical support and free resources to help improve end-of-life technology management and those who do especially well receive recognition and awards at the end of program years.

In 2011, these 89 organizations reported recycling 4,233 desktop computers, 1,021 LCD monitors, 1,808 CRT monitors and 993 notebook computers, combining for nearly 520,000 pounds of mixed office equipment. Further, 2,664 desktop towers, 491 LCDs, 324 CRTs and 503 were allocated for reuse.

Environmental benefits are great – the program report estimates the partner organizations kept 3,553 pounds of mercury out of the environment and reduced municipal solid waste by 1,040 tons. Enough greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by reuse, recycling and other practices to equal the removal of 7,955 cars from the road each year.

“The State Electronics Challenge continues to grow and gain stature. It has been an exciting year with impressive gains and demonstrable success. Your leadership and generosity has made a fundamental difference and has resulted in demonstrated environmental change and leadership,” the report’s authors state. ISRI and R2/RIOS™ are proud and sustaining members of the SEC.

To view the report, click 2011 State Electronics Challenge Sponsor Annual Report. For more on the State Electronics Challenge, Click Here,



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