To that end, the companies will stage an event in Boston on Sept. 13 wherein the first 2,000 consumers to drop off their old electronics at Gillette Stadium receive a free "environmentally friendly" cloth tote.
And Sony is recycling an old television ad promoting what looks like one of its first Beta video recorders and players. Superimposed near the end are these words: "We're recycling our old 1970s commercials to remind you to recycle your old electronics." TV and newspaper print ads will run over the next couple of weeks prior to the Boston event and then roll out to other markets such as Phoenix, Austin, Texas, and Atlanta.
"We realize e-waste has become a big barrier to recycling because many of the items you want to recycle are large," says Stuart Redsun, senior VP corporate marketing at Sony Electronics. "Some U.S. states don't have programs to take back old VCRs and televisions."
Doug Smith, director of corporate environmental affairs at Sony Electronics, says that with help from Waste Management, Sony has opened about 155 recycling drop-off locations since September. The objective is to have a free and convenient network for electronics waste.
The electronics company says the promotion fits nicely into its ongoing Take Back Recycling program, which provides free recycling for Sony products. At the Boston event, Sony will open free recycling to other brands, Smith says.
With plans to bring several other electronic manufacturers into the program, Waste Management introduced the electronics recycling program with Sony Electronics a year ago, and recently added LG Electronics to the mix, says Wes Muir, director of corporate communications for Waste Management.
Along with Waste Management, Sony has collected about 9.2 million pounds of electronic waste.
Citing statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Muir says about 2 million tons of cellular phones, televisions, printers, and computers are collected annually, but there are 5 million tons in basements, garages and attics being stored that can be recycled, Muir says. Not surprisingly, electronic waste is the fastest-growing commodity in the waste management system considering the number of gadgets being introduced monthly. Design and delivery cycles on smaller electronics are sometimes fewer than six months.
For example, on Thursday Sony unveiled three new Walkman players and a 10-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-T500 camera with an HD movie recording feature. The Walkman series S, E and B players provide easy content transfer software with drag-and-drop features for non-DRM music, videos and podcasts, while the Sony Cyber-shot offers wide and full- screen 720p movie recording at 30 frames per second in fine and standard and VGA recording modes.