e-Waste and Recycling
The technological capability necessary to responsibly reuse, refurbish or recycle nearly every electronic device at the end of its useful life exists today, but it requires commitment, people, processes and sufficient infrastructure to ensure no electronics end up in landfills. We are proud to do our part to help move our industry forward in the reuse and responsible recycling of electronics — both those that we install, as well as other end-of-life devices recycled on behalf of our customers.
Our commitment to electronics recycling extends to our own workforce as well. In 2014, we collected and recycled thousands of pounds of e-waste at employee events in Boise, Denver, Huntington, Missoula and Tulsa.
DIRECTV has joined with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and other leading companies in an industry-wide effort, the eCycling Leadership Initiative. This broad-based campaign promotes and facilitates responsible recycling of consumer electronics, with a goal of recycling 1 billion pounds of these materials annually by 2016. In 2014, DIRECTV was named as one of five eCycling Leadership Initiative Leaders, designated for companies that recycle more than 125 percent of consumer electronics recycling goals set by the CEA.
Recovering and Recycling Old Electronics
We are making progress toward our goal to refurbish or recycle one receiver for every new receiver we purchase. We are working hard to drive our recovery rates higher through an incentive program for our technicians and managers as well as giving customers the ability to mail electronics to our recyclers for free. Whenever possible, we refurbish recovered customer equipment. In 2014, we refurbished and redeployed more than 7.9 million DIRECTV receivers to our U.S. distribution centers for customer fulfillment; recovered 12.4 million DIRECTV access cards; and redeployed 8.7 million, while recycling the rest.
Supporting Sustainable Recycling Standards
For devices that cannot be refurbished, we continue to recycle 100 percent of equipment recovered from customers, including receivers and other hardware, as well as the equipment used in our operations, such as desktop computers, laptops and monitors. To ensure responsible handling, we partner with electronics recyclers that are certified according to the nonprofit Sustainable Electronic Recycling Initiative’s (SERI) R2 responsible recycling standards. These standards define materials that can pose environmental concern and outline how these materials should be managed in an environmentally safe manner. They also require downstream due diligence on all vendors’ handling of focus materials such as circuit boards, CRT glass and batteries.
In 2014, SERI named DIRECTV one of 10 founding members of their R2 Leader Program. We are taking a leading role to add more certified vendors in Latin America. While there are many excellent recyclers throughout the region, we are working to raise the overall quality of providers in this market. We have also initiated measures to educate recyclers, often on a one-to-one basis, on the benefits of certification, especially the R2 standard. In addition, we supported SERI’s efforts to certify more recyclers in the region by working with our own recyclers to train them on the R2 standard.
Making It Easy For Our Customers to be Responsible
In 2014, DIRECTV recycled more than 24 million pounds of e-waste — a 50 percent increase from our 2013 total. More than 32,000 customers used our recycle website in 2014, a more than four-fold increase from the previous year. In excess of a quarter-million pounds of electronics were recycled through the site. We calculate that our 2014 recycling efforts saved more than 63 million kilowatt-hours of energy that would have been necessary to extract natural resources for new products.
Our customer recycling service, directv.com/recycle, makes it easy to recycle outdated electronics for free. Consumers simply enter information about their equipment, print a free mailing label and ship their DIRECTV equipment or other devices — cell phones, tablets, laptops and other electronics — to our recycling partner to process.