TCL North America worked with several organizations this past weekend to pull off a free first-of-its-kind drive-up electronics recycling event in the city of Denver, keeping its sustainable electronics priorities in place in the wake of disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The event was a resounding success, demonstrating that with the resources and talent from cities and private enterprise working together with TCL’s award-winning Sustainability Team, the pandemic couldn’t keep the country from conveniently recycling electronics.
TCL had postponed its Earth Day plans earlier this year and put its nationwide recycling events on hold due to the onset of the pandemic. The events are a key component of the company’s support for local communities under its highly-regarded TCLcares program.
Despite the uncertainty, TCL’s award-winning Sustainability Team continued to look for solutions that could bridge the gap to enable social distancing and the safe participation by local communities. As it turned out, many cities and counties around the country have also been looking for ways to better serve the public during the pandemic and show that it didn’t impair their ability to provide residents with effective solutions.
How to do it safely?
Providing a convenient and safe environment for residents to drop-off their products, while also keeping the employees at the event protected, presented a challenge. Getting the buy-in from participating cities also required building tremendous confidence in the planning and execution.
The key was setting up a coordinated, easy-in easy-out drive-thru event with residents reserving the exact time for their drop-off. Since participants usually drive their products to the events, their cars and trucks offered the required social distancing. With the event held at the recycler’s location, items could go directly into the facility and reduce the need for shipping and logistics. The result was an unqualified success, not to mention convenient for participating residents.
12 Tons of Electronics in Under Four Hours
The city of Denver promoted the event to the public using its online resources and within the first 24 hours the entire event was completely sold out with 280 reservations. More than 24,000 pounds of electronics were collected in under four hours, including flat-panel and CRT TVs, cell phones, desktop computers, laptops, monitors, video game consoles, printers, and more.
Colorado-based Blue Star Recyclers stepped up and served one car every 52 seconds, with their employees safely equipped with masks and other protective gear to keep themselves and the participating public out of harms way. Blue Star Recyclers, a social enterprise non-profit organization focused on creating jobs for people with disAbilities, is known in the region for its e-Stewards certified recycling work in several locations throughout Colorado.
MRM, TCL’s longtime electronics recycling partner known for developing and executing compliance programs in the U.S. for manufacturers, played a key logistical, coordination, and planning role in supporting the event.
Technology Meets Sustainability
This event served as a model for how cities and counties across the country can serve their communities in the age of COVID-19. The recipe is simple. With TCL bringing its Sustainability Team together with MRM’s nationwide coordination capabilities and accredited recycling partners, willing municipalities can use their existing capabilities to widen participation and create successful events across the country.
“TCL commits enormous resources to its electronics recycling efforts with collection events and volunteer efforts to make a real difference in communities across America,” said Jonathan King, TCL North America’s Vice President Corporate & Legal Affairs. “I’m very proud of our Sustainability Team for their passionate pursuit of essential recycling solutions during these challenging times. Now that we’ve been part of an approach that keeps all participants safe, our TCLcares program can use this playbook to provide other communities the services they deserve.”
To learn how to recycle your electronics, plan an event in your community, or see how TCL is helping to build a sustainable future, please visit www.tclusa.com/sustainability.
UPDATE: Using TCL’s winning formula, we launched the TCL Take-Back Tour on America Recycles Day weekend with free recycling events in Rogers/Bentonville, Arkansas, Fresno, California, Aurora, Colorado, and Tampa, Florida. The enormous success of the program will continue with more TCL Take-Back Tour events in 2021.