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Comcast Partners with Echo Environmental for Coax Recycling Program

(Image credit: Comcast)

Comcast said it has teamed up with Carrollton, Texas-based Echo Environmental Holdings for a new program that will allow the cable operator to recycle its old coaxial cables into reusable materials. 

Echo Environmental, a unit of Envela Corp., has developed technology that breaks down coax wires into raw, new materials that can be reintroduced and resold, significantly reducing landfill waste.

“Comcast works to continually recycle or divert cable equipment waste, and we have been in constant search for new technologies to maximize the recyclability and reusability of coax cable materials at end-of-life,” Comcast Cable senior VP of supply chain & logistics Tom Vogel said in a press release. “Echo Environmental’s technology brings coax waste into the circular economy, converting coax into new materials that can be reintegrated into another product lifecycle.”

Coaxial cables are made up of multi-layered cords with a steel inner conductor, an insulating layer, and conductive shielding and the cables can be made of 27 different polymers that require separation for use in new products. Although traditional recycling attempts have been successful in recovering the metals contained in the wires, the insulation and jacketing can end up in landfills. 

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Echo Environmental’s solution creates high-polymer fractions from the insulation and jacketing without hazardous chemicals or incineration, and allows these substances to be reintroduced directly into supply chains as raw materials, Comcast said.

“We are excited to collaborate with our customers, such as Comcast, to find new ways to promote sustainability through innovative technology—a core tenet of Echo’s business philosophy. And we love that such solutions also help customers repurpose end-of-life materials,” Echo Environmental president Tommy McGuire said in a press release. 

Echo Environmental said its plant has the capacity to recycle one million pounds of wire waste per month and will recycle approximately 70% of Comcast’s cable and coax waste each year. ■

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.