Manufacturing Savvy

Let's Get an A on This, OK?

While Dell, Samsung and Asus got good grades, they aren't at the top yet.

These companies got Bs for their recycling efforts and Apple earned a C+. HP got a C-.

And most companies got an F, including Brother, Kodak, Lexmark, Philips, Funai, Epson, and RCA. (Full list at Electronics Company Recycling Report Card)

The grading system, released on Oct. 19 was created by The Electronics TakeBack Coalition. The group graded computer, television, printer, and game console companies on their efforts to take back and recycle their old products.

The group also awarded a "dishonorable mention" to Samsung because of concerns about their occupational health record at manufacturing plants in Korea where many young workers have been diagnosed with blood cancers and several have already died.

In addition to be graded on how robust the companies' takeback programs are, the Coalition finds out whether companies are recycling in a responsible manner and not exporting the products.

The better companies are using recyclers who are qualified under the e-Stewards program. The program evaluates electronics recyclers against the highest standards in the industry, including a ban on exporting toxic e-waste (included untested and non-working products) to developing countries. The program has evolved from a voluntary "Pledge" program into a certification program with a comprehensive standard and accredited third party audit.

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