Ez-Ds displease recycling director
SUMMIT COUNTY – Disney’s Buena Vista Home Entertainment company is making it easier to view movies with its new ez-D discs. There’s only one downfall: They die after 48 hours.Manufacturers say that’s what is so great about them.The discs could last forever – as long as they’re encased in their airtight package. But when the ez-D is exposed to air, the bottom of the disc slowly oxidizes to the point the DVD laser can’t read the disc anymore. But it doesn’t harm the DVD player.In contrast, regular DVD discs last as long as they’re well cared for.The ez-Ds are designed for people who don’t want to be bothered with going to a video or grocery store, waiting in line to check out a movie and returning the disc the next day. People who take long road trips are also target clients, said Larry Reiff, account executive with Trylon Communications in New York City.”People can stock up on a handful of them,” he said. “That’s why they’re sold at gas stations and convenience stores.”Yet, they’ve been met with mixed reviews. Summit Recycling Project (SRP) director Carly Wier is not pleased with yet another disposable product on the market.”This doesn’t place any responsibility on the manufacturer,” she said. “I think it’s crap. It all relies on local communities, nonprofits and consumers to find out how to get this darn thing recycled. It’s another instance of manufacturers spewing out products without thinking of their end of life.”Reiff acknowledges that some people will toss the expired discs.”That’s why, before the discs were even on the shelves, Disney developed an aggressive recycling program,” Reiff said, adding that people who return six discs will get a free movie of their choice. “AOL sends out hundreds of thousands of discs with no plan whatsoever to recover them.”Industry experts say AOL gets a 5 percent return on its 40 million to 300 million DVDs it mails each year. DVDs and CDs take at least 100 years to decompose.To make it easier to recycle the discs, the company has a variety of ways the viewer can return them to GreenDisk Services in Columbia, Mo. Viewers can drop them off at local recyclers – SRP is not yet one of them – or mail them to GreenDisk Services. The company even offers free, prepaid and preprinted envelopes on its Web site at http://www.ez-d.com.Landfill supervisor Ric Pocius said the DVDs won’t add much to Summit County’s landfill, but still rolls his eyes at the prospect.”That’s our typical disposable society attitude,” he said. “In order to recycle, they need to make it as easy as possible. An envelope needs to be part of the packaging. They’ll probably wind up in the landfill. We just don’t notice it. It’s considered household waste, and it’s legal to bring it in.”The discs debuted last September in Peoria, Ill.; Austin, Texas; Bloomington, Ind.; and Charleston, N.C. They’ve recently debuted at 7-Eleven, Loaf ‘n Jug and Phillips 66 stores in Phoenix, San Antonio, Texas, Florida and the Denver area, including Summit County.The company offers 52 movie titles, including Cold Creek Manor, Duplex, Veronica Guerin and The Rookie. The Ghosts of the Abyss, Sorority Boys, Pearl Harbor and the Haunted Mansion were slated for release June 3.Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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