Coalition Urges TV Makers to Offer Free Recycling Programs

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DALLAS (AP) - A national recycling coalition says television manufacturers need to make it easier for American consumers to safely dispose of aging TVs.

The TVs can seep lead and other hazardous chemicals into the soil around dumps, often in China, Nigeria and other countries.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says just 12.5 percent of electronics waste in the United States is offered for recycling each year.

And at least half of that amount, or more than 160,000 tons, is exported and dumped overseas. That's according to Robin Schneider, vice chair of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and executive director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment, in Austin.

A new campaign to be announced today by the Electronics TakeBack Coalition includes a Web site where consumers can e-mail the heads of the world's largest TV makers and request free recycling programs.

Schneider called electronic waste from TVs a "crisis in the making" because of skyrocketing consumer demand for high-definition sets.

The group says only Sony has so far agreed to recycle all of its electronic products at no cost to consumers through a national network of 75 pickup locations. Sony has agreed to expand that number to 150 locations by next year.