Starting February 15, Best Buy will introduce electronics recycling options at all of its 1,0006 U.S. locations. Although there will be a $10 fee for any item with a screen, consumers will be reimbursed with a $10 gift card. Best Buy is just one of the many companies using incentives to entice customers to recycle. Other companies, like Staples, have also begun expanding their recycling programs, offering cash incentives for participating.
The Best Buy program will allow each household to recycle up to two units per day. They’ll accept most televisions and monitors up to 32 inches, along with laptops, VCRs, DVD players, cell phones, keyboards, remotes, and many other consumer electronics products. Console televisions, items that contain Freon, microwaves, and appliances will not be accepted.
Experts agree that Best Buy’s program show the importance of connecting recycling with saving money. In an economy where every dollar counts, offering a “prize” is important for luring customers to the program. Boston-based marketing company Cone Inc. reports that 51 percent of shoppers consider the environmental effects of the electronics they buy, but consumers are less likely to recycle these same items, due to the price and work involved.
Best Buy already has recycling kiosks where consumers can drop off ink cartridges, old CDs and DVDs, batteries, and other small items. In addition to electronics recycling, Best Buy also takes part in the Green Your Phone program and is exploring alternatives to plastic clamshell packaging.