EIA encourages consumers to reuse and recycle used electronics

New website, www.eiae.org, launched.

provided by The Electronic Industries Alliance

he Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) unveiled an industry-led effort this month to encourage consumers to reuse and recycle used electronics such as TVs, PCs, VCRs, and cell phones. The effort, named the Consumer Education Initiative, or CEI, includes a website (www.eiae.org) that directs users to local charities, needy schools, neighborhood and community demanufacturers, and other local and national recycling programs that collect used electronics.

"With the growing number of obsolete electronics, it is essential that the US high tech industry proactively develop programs to preserve and protect the environment, and the Consumer Education Initiative is a big step in that direction," said EIA President Dave McCurdy. McCurdy continued, "Our goal is simple: we aim to lessen the environmental impacts of our products throughout their entire life cycle, from design to end-of-life."

The Consumer Education Initiative is a comprehensive web-based information resource that provides consumers and others with information on recycling and reuse opportunities for used electronics. The program is a result of hundreds of meetings with federal, state and local government officials, industry representatives, environmental groups, and reuse, recycling, and disposal organizations.

EIA staff has been working on the CEI for over a year, and this issue is now on the radar screens of the industry's highest officials. EIA's governing body, a sixty-member group of Chief Executive Officers, has designated sound environmental reuse and recycling of electronics as one of the top four issues facing the high tech electronic industry along with trade, broadband deployment, and information and network security. "This emerging challenge has been elevated by our CEOs as one of the top issues facing our industry," McCurdy said.

The heart of the CEI is the website. Once on the website, a consumer simply clicks on his or her state. The site will list various options, including donation sites at schools and charities as well as industry and government-run collection, reuse and recycling programs. In addition, the website will contain pertinent facts and background on used electronics, helpful links, and information on other industry-led efforts to reduce the impacts of our products on the environment.

"We've found that consumers don't want to simply throw away their old PC or TV, but they don't know what do to with them. This website will help consumers reuse and recycle obsolete electronic products by giving them to charities or donating them to a school," McCurdy noted.

To raise awareness of the website, participating manufacturers have agreed to include an industry statement in product owner manuals, company web sites, or product packaging and literature, directing consumers to the CEI web page. EIA is also briefing state, local and national legislators and lawmakers on the program, including officials from the new Bush Administration and the newly sworn-in 107th Congress.

The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) is a partnership of electronic and high tech associations and companies committed to shared knowledge and shared influence. Their mission is to promote market development and competitiveness of the US high tech industry through domestic and international policy efforts. Comprised of more than 2,100 members that provide two million jobs for American workers, EIA represents 80 percent of the $550 billion US electronics industry. EIA's sector associations and members represent consumer electronics, telecommunications, electronic components, government electronics and information technology, semiconductor standards, and philanthropic interests.