Recycling plastics, metal and paper is commonplace in most American households, but when it comes to electronics like old televisions and cell phones, the process isn't always as easy as tossing the old device out in the right bin on the curb.
To help consumers navigate the sometimes confusing landscape of take-back, trade-in, mail-back and community collection programs run by a variety of non-profit and corporate entities, the Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new Web site: Plug-In to eCycling.
The site is particularly important now, as millions of Americans are expected to purchase digital televisions to replace analog sets. Those old sets, like most electronics, contain trace amounts of toxic mercury, cadmium, lead and other chemicals that should not be buried in a landfill or incinerated in a garbage plant.
Instead, those materials can often be recycled. Consult the EPA's site to find a manufacturer or retailer that will recycle your electronics if your community recycling program does not include electronics.
Also consult the Electronics TakeBack Coalition's Take Back My TV site, which scores television manufacturers on their recycling programs. The report card would not make a parent proud. No companies scored an "A" and only one company, Sony, which scored a B-minus for launching the nation's first take-back program, scored a B. Here's a look at the other results:
For more details, visit Take Back My TV.
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