In 2010, Verizon set a goal to collect 2 million pounds – or 1,000 tons – of electronic waste in communities it serves by the end of 2015. That five-year goal was achieved today, eight months ahead of schedule, during Verizon’s e-waste recycling rally in Wilmington, as area residents, businesses and Verizon employees safely disposed of tens of thousands of pounds of unwanted computer hardware, TVs and small appliances.
The 2 million pounds collected for recycling over the past five years is equal to the weight of 500 average cars, or roughly 50,000 cathode ray tube computer screens.
“The city of Wilmington, its citizens and its business community share Verizon’s commitments to protecting the environment and preserving the natural resources that sustain our way of life,” said Mayor Bill Saffo. “So it’s fitting that Wilmington is the city that helps Verizon reach its goal of responsibly recycling 2 million pounds of electronic waste. I congratulate Verizon and commend the people of Wilmington.”
Verizon immediately set a new e-waste goal: recycling another 2 million pounds of e-waste by 2020.
Inappropriate e-waste disposal in landfills can cause the electronic devices’ toxic materials – such as lead, arsenic, beryllium and mercury – to leach into the environment, posing a potential threat to the ecosystem. Thanks to the Wilmington community’s participation, Verizon has collected and kept from entering landfills roughly 200,000 pounds of electronic waste in the area to date – equivalent to the weight of more than 9,000 desktop computers.
“Volunteers from our 18,000-member employee Verizon Green Team worked with Wilmington community members on a milestone achievement today,” said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. “The recycling rally helped reach Verizon’s goal of collecting and keeping 2 million pounds of e-waste out of landfills – months ahead of schedule. But as environmental stewards, we won’t stop hiking the path of sustainability. That’s why we’ve already set our next five-year goal to collect another 2 million pounds of electronic waste by 2020.”
Since 2009, Verizon has hosted recycling rallies in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
Verizon adheres to a zero-landfill objective for e-waste. All materials it collects are reused or recycled so they do not end up in a landfill. The recycling rallies also benefit Verizon’s HopeLine program, which diverts working mobile phones from landfills and donates them to domestic violence prevention and support organizations. Over 9 million wireless phones have been collected through the program since 2001.
Verizon’s Commitment to the Environment and Sustainability
Verizon has long focused on energy efficiency and instituting sustainable real estate practices. On April 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Verizon with a 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy-efficiency achievements. This is the third consecutive year that Verizon has received a Partner of the Year honor from the U.S. EPA.
Verizon seeks ENERGY STAR certification for all eligible Verizon Wireless retail stores and other company facilities that meet the U.S. EPA’s standards for energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In all, 193 Verizon facilities earned ENERGY STAR certification by the end of 2014 – 177 Verizon Wireless retail stores and 16 other Verizon facilities across the United States.
Over the past two years, the company has invested $137 million to build on-site green energy generating systems, including solar and fuel cells, to help power its networks and data centers — equivalent to 2,700 homes’ electricity for a year — eliminating 20,000 metric tons of CO2.
Verizon’s smart solutions for our customers help them to better manage their buildings and vehicle fleets, operate power grids, and support telecommuting to decrease the impact of vehicle commuting. According to an Accenture study, these solutions reduced CO2 emissions by 13 million to 17 million metric tons in 2014 – equal to taking 3 million cars off the road.
Verizon is also using its own Networkfleet telematics product for vehicle fleet management. With this system, companies can keep a closer eye on engine performance and help employees to use their vehicles more efficiently. By the end of 2014, Verizon had equipped 28,575 vehicles in its fleet with Networkfleet or a similar third-party solution. Year by year, Verizon is consuming less gasoline. The 34.3 million gallons Verizon vehicles consumed in 2014 was almost 25 percent less than the company’s fuel consumption in 2010 (45.2 million gallons).