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HP, Staples Offer Free E-Recycling

Hewlett-Packard and office products retailer Staples have teamed up to offer free electronics recycling for all brands of office technology at Staples stores nationwide.

Small businesses and consumers can drop off used computers, cell phones, MP3 players, fax machines and similar items at any Staples store, regardless of where they were purchased, for HP to recycle.

HP recently announced it had recycled two billion pounds of electronics and supplies since 1987. The company is hoping to build on this total with the Staples collaboration. In 2010, Staples collected more than 10 million pounds of old technology to be recycled in the U.S.

A similar program called Dell Reconnect is administered by electronics giant Dell and thrift store chain Goodwill Industries. Since its inception in 2004, the program has recycled more than 230 million pounds of end-of-life computer equipment, helping Dell toward its global goal of recycling 1 billion pounds of computer equipment by 2014.

In December, Dell and Goodwill announced that an additional 319 donation sites in the U.S. had joined the Dell Reconnect computer recycling program. There are now more than 2,600 Goodwill drop-off locations in the U.S. and Canada offering free electronics recycling.

In 2010, LG Electronics’ “Great American Cleanup” program recycled 7.2 million pounds of consumer electronics.

A more unusual approach to e-waste collection was unveiled in Las Vegas in January. The ecoATM kiosk uses patented machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy back used cell phones and MP3 players directly from consumers. Consumers are rewarded for recycling their unwanted electronic equipment with cash or store vouchers.

According to figures released in 2010 39 percent of Americans recycle all of their old electronic gadgets. The Retrevo survey also revealed that 17 percent of respondents did not know how to recycle their old electronic equipment and 11 percent said e-recycling was not available where they lived.

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2 thoughts on “HP, Staples Offer Free E-Recycling

  1. It’s good to see someone looking after our e-waste after we have bought the latest of the latest. But I am curious and wonder if anyone else is wondering what these companies are going to do with the money they earn? See, e-waste pays between 5 cents and 10 cents a pound. Where is the money going? I hope charity and not marketing.

  2. Good thought about the money earned from e-recycling, but I imagine administering the program has a few costs as well, e.g., hauling the stuff around, warehousing.

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