America's move to digital televisions meant sharper pictures, better sound, a bevy of new channels and a collective pile of discarded idiot boxes that weighed well north of eight million pounds.
To get rid of the refuse, the Environmental Protection Agency hopped to, partnering with leading electronics companies to create the TV Recycling Challenge. The challenge went from January to August of 2009, and after eight full months of luring sofa spuds into action, the EPA recognized Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM) as the champs.
MRM, a joint venture between Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba, developed a TV collection network by creating collection points with charities and self-storage units, and ended up recycling nearly three million pounds of boob tubes in the process. The EPA evaluated participants' efforts based on innovation, longevity, cooperative partnerships, consumer outreach, accessibility, pounds of TVs collected and ability to ensure that responsible recycling practices were followed.
To date, challenge participants have recycled approximately 8.2 million pounds of materials, besting the number of TVs trashed after the debut of Cop Rock.