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Wired Up

Study shows strong public support for e-waste recycling.

In a recent Pike Research survey of more than 1,000 Americans, 76 percent of the respondents said that recycling is the best way to handle e-waste. “The consumer is an integral link in the chain for electronics recycling and e-waste management,” said Pike Research managing director Clint Wheelock in a press release. “In order for the industry to achieve its goals, consumer values, attitudes and behavior will need to support responsible handling of end-of-life electronics equipment. Popular sentiment is also essential to support the political will of governments as they strive to mitigate e-waste issues through legislation and regulation.”

Among the surveys other findings, 37 percent of respondents said that e-waste recycling should be free, and 35 percent said the material should be collected by a curbside recycling program.

Fourteen percent believe that the expense of e-waste recycling should be paid by consumers when the product is purchased or at the time of recycling. Ten percent supported a “producer responsibility” system in which the manufacturer pays.

The average consumer surveyed estimated that the cost of collecting and recycling a single piece of used electronics equipment is $12. Pike's analysis indicates that the true cost is more than $20. An executive summary of the study, titled “Electronics Recycling and E-Waste Issues,” can be found at www.pikeresearch.com.

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