Best Buy announced today that it’s extending its gadget recycling program to include a new mail-in option. The retailer will now sell you a box for your used electronics that you can ship back for recycling, saving a trip to the store. Best Buy says it’s recycled 2.7 billion pounds of electronics and appliances through its existing programs, describing itself as the US’ “largest retail collector of e-waste.”
The program lets you order a box in one of two sizes: a $23 small (9 x 5 x 3 inches) one for e-waste weighing up to six lbs and a $30 medium (18 x 14 x 4 inches) one supporting up to 15 lbs. After receiving it, you can pack in as many (approved) devices as you can fit, as long as they stay under the weight limits. Then, you can either take them to a UPS drop-off point or schedule a UPS pickup.
The program is an extension of Best Buy’s free in-store recycling program, launched in 2009. The retailer also provides a home-pickup option, but it costs $200 and is ideal for unusually cumbersome items like home theater and heavy appliances. All of its recycling initiatives accept computers, tablets, TVs, smartphones, radios, appliances, cameras and other common gadgets. (You can read the complete list and exclusions here.)
The free in-store recycling program would be more practical unless you live far from a Best Buy location. Still, I can see some people willing to pay to avoid making the trip — especially during the holiday shopping season or if you have disposable income and live in a congested area. If nothing else, Earth Day (April 22nd) is an appropriate time to raise awareness of e-waste recycling to nudge people away from throwing these items in the trash, where they’ll get hauled off to landfills.