April 28, 2009 Sony Electronics has launched the GreenFill recycling service, an extension of its Take Back program using in-store, drop-boxes for the collection of unwanted portable electronics good - around 80% of which currently end up in landfill.

All brands of small electronic goods like cameras, portable music devices, small laptops, cell phones and portable gaming devices can be dropped off free of charge at participating outlets in the Greenfill program - 81 retail stores are on board so far. For larger electronic goods, Sony's Take Back Program has 270+ participating recycling depots which accept its own brand no charge and add a small fee for other brands. According to Sony, more than 14 million pounds of electronic waste has been collected since the commencement of the Take Back Program, but sadly that's just a tiny fraction of what's out there. In the US it's estimated that 18% of the hundreds of thousands of tons of electronics waste in accumulated storage is recycled - a figure that has jumped 3% since 2006 on the back of mandatory collection and recycling programs for electronics in several states.

There has been an increase in momentum in the USA particularly since 2008, with several significant organizations taking responsibility for responsible electronic waste (e-waste) recycling and ensuring any associated hazardous wastes are not exported to developing countries.

The Basel Convention was established to provide control of the transboundary movements of Hazardous wastes and their disposal. In 2008, Waste Management Recycle America (WM Recycle America) announced its commitment to adopt the Electronics Recycler’s Pledge of True Stewardship for the dismantling and recycling of e-waste. Sony Electronics is in partnership with WM Recycling America and has also signed the Basel Action Network Manufacturers Commitment to responsible e-waste.

More information the GreenFill program can be found at Sony Green.

David Greig