Panasonic creates national electronics recycling program

Panasonic Corporation of North America is creating a nationwide program designed to provide consumers convenient and easy recycling of their Panasonic branded televisions and some other consumer electronics. Consumers can drop off their Panasonic products free of charge.

To implement this program, Panasonic will work in a collaborative effort with other manufacturers. Day-to-day management of the program will be contracted to Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM), a joint venture established in 2007, by Panasonic Corporation of North America, Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America Consumer Products, LLC. The venture was created to address America’s e-waste recycling needs most efficiently by bringing the electronic product manufacturing community together into a unified voluntary effort.

The Panasonic program began on November 1, 2008, with more than 160 recycling drop-off locations in 10 states, and is slated to expand to all 50 states, with hundreds more sites, over the next three years. For a list of current states and sites see www.MRMrecycling.com. Additional details on the program’s expansion will be announced in January 2009.

Panasonic also announced the creation of a new recycling office within the company’s Corporate Environmental Department. The new office will have responsibility for this program, and will be headed by Richard Vernam, recycling group manager.

The new office will work with MRM and its network of public and private recyclers, communities, governments, charities and other organizations committed to safe electronics recycling. It will leverage the efficiencies that come from MRM’s ability to bring together multiple manufacturers’ recycling programs into one common system.

Panasonic has tested various product recycling mechanisms in several states and localities, through dozens of voluntary recycling events, and with a number of established recyclers. With years of leadership in developing and promoting national recycling programs for such products as rechargeable batteries, laptop PCs, and most recently consumer cordless phones, Panasonic expects to contribute its expertise, along with that of others, to accelerate MRM’s implementation and ensure its success.