Greener BeeGreen ElectronicsElectronics Industry, Green Group Team Up With Crowdsourcing Pioneer to Address Important E-Waste Recycling Challenge


Consumer Electronics Association
® (CEA), Environmental
Defense Fund
(EDF) and InnoCentive,
the pioneer in crowdsourcing and open innovation, today announced the
winners of an Eco-Challenge to develop compelling economic and
environmentally preferable solutions for recycling old cathode ray tube
(CRT) televisions and monitors.

The award-winning ideas are the first step in determining how to
responsibly and cost-effectively recycle billions of pounds of
lead-heavy CRT glass as consumers switch from CRT electronics to liquid
crystal, light emitting diode (LED) and plasma displays.

The Challenge is part of EDF and InnoCentive’s Eco-Challenge
, which works with leading companies to tap the power of open
innovation to address real-world environmental issues faster and more
efficiently, while generating business value.

“The glass in tens of millions of old TVs and monitors now being
replaced by flat-screens is filled with lead, which is a major concern
for public health and our planet,” said Beth Trask, who leads the
Eco-Challenge Series for EDF. “Crowdsourcing is an exciting new way to
uncover fresh ideas for solving pressing environmental problems in the
electronics and e-waste industries.”

More than 350 “Solvers” participated in the Eco-Challenge, which offered
prizes from $1,000 to $5,000. Ultimately, three were named winners:

  • Mario Rosato, an environmental engineer from Spain who has won four
    previous InnoCentive Challenges, all related to environmental issues.
    Rosato proposed a closed-loop process for separating the lead from the
    glass in a form with high market value for a variety of industries;
  • Nulife Glass Processing Ltd., based in Manchester, U.K., proposed a
    solution that utilizes an extremely energy efficient electrically
    heated furnace, uniquely designed to produce minimal emissions; and
  • Robert Kirby, a mechanical engineer from New Mexico, submitted an idea
    for combining CRT glass with cement to create tile and bricks that are
    tested, labeled and sold specifically for applications where lead
    shielding is required, such as X-ray and fluoroscopy rooms.

“These winning solutions are a vital new step to finding safe,
responsible and cost-effective ways to handle old CRTs in the coming
years,” said Walter Alcorn, CEA vice president for environmental affairs
and industry sustainability. “CEA will continue to work with
manufacturers, retailers and recyclers to explore these and other
emerging solutions within the industry.”

CEA plans to make these solutions available to the public at
with the dual goals of raising awareness and helping to create market
demand for used CRT glass. CEA holds no rights to the winning solutions
and encourages recyclers to adopt these practices.

“Finding good uses for CRT glass is a challenge we face every day,” said
Craig Lorch, co-owner of Seattle-based electronics recycler, Total
Reclaim. “We are excited to see innovative approaches identified to
recover usable resources contained in these legacy electronics,” he

CEA embarked on this challenge to help find an economically feasible and
eco-friendly solution to this important recycling issue. In other areas,
the prize approach to solving environmental problems has been gaining
popularity among corporations faced with increased environmental
regulations and societal pressures, as well as non-profit organizations
with limited budgets.

“Working with CEA and EDF to identify a critical need in protecting our
environment speaks directly to the mission of the Eco-Challenge series,”
said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. “The response from our Solvers
and the engagement of the recycling community is evidence that the
partnership is having a meaningful impact. We are excited about the
potential presented by these solutions.”

About CEA

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade
association promoting growth in the $195 billion U.S. consumer
electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of
CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research,
technical training and education, industry promotion, standards
development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships.
CEA also owns and produces the International CES — The Global Stage for
Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry
services. Find CEA online at,
and through social media,,

About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund (,
a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational
solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science,
economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. For more
information, visit
Read our blog at
Follow us on Twitter:

About InnoCentive

InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that
enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to
diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners,
and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace. InnoCentive’s
proven Challenge Driven Innovation methodology, community of millions of
problem Solvers, and cloud-based technology platform combine to
fundamentally transform the economics of innovation and RD through
rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open
innovation programs. Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit
organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Eli Lilly, Life Technologies,
NASA,, Popular Science, Procter Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller
Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems
and innovate faster and more cost effectively than ever before. For more
information, visit
or call 1-855-CROWDNOW.

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