Electronic waste is a pressing issue in waste management. An estimated 41 million computers, 31 million monitors, and 130 million cell phones are thrown away in the U.S. annually, but only 13% of it is recycled. The other 87% goes to landfills or incinerators causing toxic pollution to the air, land, and water.
In 2007, As You Sow asked Best Buy, the #1 U.S. electronics retailer, to create an in-store electronics take-back program. After a successful pilot in 2008, As You Sow helped Best Buy fully implemented the program across their over 1,000 US stores.
The following year 1.5 million electronic items were collected, weighing 70 million pounds. In 2010, those results increased 25% to 2 million items weighing 85 million pounds.
The successful program has been a win-win for consumers who now have a convenient place to dispose of all of their electronics responsibly and Best Buy, who has improved their reputation and adopted the “e-cycle” branding in its advertising.