Best Buy Celebrates Milestone: 1 Billion Pounds of Recycled Electronics in Just Five Years
Since launching its free recycling program five years ago. The amount of consumer electronics and appliances recycled comes to 1 billion pounds.
Dayton (Gov) and Joly (Best Buy CEO) were on hand Thursday at Best Buy’s Richfield headquarters for a ceremony honoring this achievement.
“Recycling efforts are not just a nice thing to do; they’re an integral part of our transformation,” Joly said. “We’re solving a problem for our customers.”
They also were announcing their next goal: recycling 2 billion additional pounds by 2020.
Calling Best Buy’s program “the biggest and, we believe, the best consumer electronics recycling program on the planet,” Joly joked that he wouldn’t mind seeing Best Buy customers recycle a TV every year.
Dayton issued a proclamation honoring the company’s efforts and thanked the company “on behalf of the citizens of Minnesota and of the world.” Noting that Best Buy erases all the data from recycled items, Dayton made his own joke.
“Some government officials will start recycling computers with you, some of them probably on pretty short notice,” he said.
The growth of electronic waste is no joke said Best Buy officials. Technology is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet, said Scott Weislow, the company’s senior director of environmental services. Recycling volume has grown by 15 to 20 percent a year since this program has started.
Consumer electronics contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury as well as precious metals like gold and silver. It’s better to recover the materials than dump them. Appliances typically contain large amounts of steel, aluminum and copper.
“It’s a lot more efficient to recycle those materials than to mine them,” Weislow said. “You’re not expending energy to do the mining, you’re not refining, you’re not disturbing the earth.”
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