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EPA Recognizes Sprint and 8 Other Electronics Industry Leaders for Achievements in Innovation and Recycling

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EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Dec. 18, 2019) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Sprint, headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, as one of the 2019 winners of its Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge Awards.

Today’s electronics are made from materials that, if not properly managed at the end of their lifetime, may pose a risk to human health and the environment. The winners of the 2019 Electronics Awards are being recognized for keeping 194,500 tons of electronics out of landfills by sending them to third-party certified recyclers. EPA will hold a ceremony at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January to showcase the innovative work of the 2019 awardees.

“These companies represent the electronics industry’s leaders in sustainable product design and life cycle management,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The environmental benefits associated with keeping electronics out of landfills and recycling them for use in new products are enormous. EPA is proud to recognize the inventive and forward-thinking achievements of these companies.”

The Agency’s 2019 Electronics Challenge Gold Tier Awards are going to the following organizations:
  • Dell
  • LG Electronics USA
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Sony Electronics
  • Sprint
  • Staples
  • TCL North America
  • Xerox

EPA further recognizes Dell and Samsung Electronics as the SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for innovation in an environmentally responsible way. These companies serve as examples in demonstrating environmental, social and economic outcomes for their organizations and the public that go above and beyond the requirements of the Electronics Challenge.

  • Dell is receiving the Product Award for developing a visionary, closed-loop process for recovering rare earth elements from magnets in end-of-life hard disk drives. During the pilot, Dell diverted 660 pounds of magnet material from landfills to create 25,000 hard disk drives.
  • Samsung is receiving the Cutting-Edge Award for developing an affordable, upcycled and smartphone-based diagnosis camera to improve eye health care equality in underserved populations. Currently piloted in Vietnam, the camera extends the life of obsolete phones, uses 50% recycled content, and is designed for easy reuse or recovery.


With an ever-increasing supply of new electronic gadgets, EPA’s latest data shows that Americans generated 2.84 million tons of waste from consumer electronics goods in 2017 and 35.9% of that waste was recycled. Improved life cycle management of electronics, through source reduction of materials used, increasing reuse, refurbishing, extending the life of products, and recycling of electronics, can reduce the total quantity of waste that needs to be managed domestically and globally. It also creates green jobs, increases the value of American exports, and supports a vibrant American recycling and refurbishing industry.

EPA launched the SMM Electronics Challenge on Sept. 22, 2012. The Challenge encourages electronics manufacturers, brand owners, and retailers to strive to send 100% of the used electronics they collect from the public, businesses, and within their own organizations to third-party certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers. The Challenge’s goals are to:
  • Increase collection of electronic equipment for reuse and recycling, using third-party certified recyclers
  • Promote data transparency and accountability through public posting of electronics collection and recycling data
  • Reduce environmental impacts across the life cycle of electronic products

More information for consumers to find a location to donate or recycle their electronics is available online.

Learn more about the SMM Electronics Challenge and how to participate on EPA’s website.

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