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CES: Take me back -- recycling gadgets

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With all things digital, where do the analog devices go to die?

As households rush to amass the latest and greatest gadgets, they’re chucking 400 million of tons of old electronics that are chock-full of lead, mercury and other toxins each year, according to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition. Only 12.5% of that is recycled.

Consumer electronics manufacturers, which have been criticized for not doing enough to stem the flood, are starting to get with the program. Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba today said they had formed a company to provide a recycling service to other manufacturers.

The Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Co. has signed deals to manage the recycling programs for Pioneer, Hitachi, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips and Sanyo. The idea is to have take-back centers that will accept old electronics for all these brands.

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The company plans to set up recycling programs by 2009 in Oregon, Washington, Texas, Connecticut and North Carolina. Sony Corp. last year set up the first national recycling program, with 75 centers throughout the country, but it accepts only Sony products.

-- Alex Pham


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