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Recyclers Receive Few EZ-Ds – So Far

13 Oct, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

Four weeks into a test of feature-only DVDs that expire in 48 hours, few of the discs have arrived at recyclers designated to accept them in the four test markets, although some recyclers said they have had little time to raise awareness.

“We have a box for the EZ-Ds. There's one in the box. We are ready to collect,” said Rick Goring, executive director of The Surplus Exchange in Kansas City, Mo. “It's not a big enough amount that I even track it very closely. I don't think we have sent any of them off yet, so there can't be that many.”

The Surplus Exchange, which primarily recycles electronic devices, will promote its new acceptance of optical media in materials supporting a collection drive scheduled for Nov. 15, America Recycles day.

Recyclers in the other three test cities told much the same story, although some are optimistic that increasing awareness will increase recycling as well and also plan to promote disc recycling before collection drives.

“We haven't received any EZ-Ds in our dropoff bins. We have had about three calls from people asking about bringing in other media like CDs, but nobody has actually brought any in yet,” said Stephanie Lott, public information specialist for City of Austin Solid Waste Services in Texas.

“I was expecting it to be the end of the year before we start seeing those. With a new product, I didn't know how long it would be,” said Michael Rains, associate manager at Discount Electronics, the other Austin area business enlisted in collecting the discs. “I think when they expire, people keep them for the novelty for a little while.”

“They have not been available for very long, so I'm sure we have not reached our full recycling capacity,” said Melissa Smith-Day, program director at Central Illinois Access in Bloomington. ”I think it's a great opportunity. Even if they are recycling just the EZ-Ds, I think it's great that companies are getting more interested in recycling.”

Whether or not consumers will recycle the discs is one aspect of the Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Flexplay market test. A spokesman for Buena Vista a declined comment for this story and Flexplay's spokesman was not available by press time.

“That was a big issue when they came to me,” said Chris Fisher, president and “ecopreneur” at Fisher Recycling in Charleston, S.C. “Flexplay was adamant that we do not want people to throw them away.”

Fisher has three collection bins, but had not received any discs at press time.

David Bechen, president of GreenDisk, which actually recycles the discs collected, said a few have been mailed in and some visitors have gone to the company's Web site to download postage or request postage-paid return envelopes.

Buena Vista and Flexplay also offer an incentive program offering a free disc to anyone who sends in five for recycling, so some consumers may not have had time to watch that many yet, he said.

Some consumers may not have ripped open the shrink wrap yet, said Rains, confiding, “I got one, but I haven't opened it yet because it's kind of cool.”

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