Best Buy announced Thursday that it is eliminating all fees associated with its U.S. in-store electronics recycling program. The consumer electronics retailer had previously charged a $10 fee to accept items with screens, such as televisions and computer monitors, for recycling at any of its more than 1,000 U.S. stores.
Some limitations do exist for the free service, however. For items with screens, tube-based displays are only accepted in sizes of up to 32 inches and those based on flat-panel technologies are limited to sizes up to 60 inches. Outside of these limits, practically any electronic device, component, or accessory can now be dropped off for free recycling at Best Buy.
This service compares favorably with other computer retail stores, particularly Apple which, while still accepting iPods in-store for recycling, no longer accepts any PC or Mac computers. To recycle computers and displays with Apple, customers must visit a special website to receive shipping instructions; they cannot bring such items into the retail stores.
One benefit Apple provides is the offer of gift cards for the value of certain recycled items. Using an online tool, customers can describe the age, condition, and functionality of their device and receive a quote for an Apple Gift Card if the device holds residual value. There does not appear to be a similar program with Best Buy, although they do offer a Trade-In program on select electronics.
In the end, Best Buy’s move to eliminate fees is welcome news for those holding on to unused electronics. It remains in the customers’ and planet’s best interests to recycle electronics and computers without value for free with Best Buy and computers with value via Apple.
As Best Buy notes in its press release, November 15 is America Recycles Day. Clean out those closets and offices and don’t add more e-waste to the landfills. Use one of these two companies’ great services and do the planet, and maybe even your wallet, a favor.
Best Buy did not immediately respond to request for comment.