Best Buy's Recycling Program is Expensive, But Worth It

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Best Buy is certainly a popular place this time of year as the demand for electronics continues to grow on holiday wish lists.

From the smallest notebooks to the latest LED high-definition flat screens, Best Buy is synonymous with new and high tech electronic gadgets. Shift your focus from the store shelves to the back rooms, however, and you may find museum-worthy televisions, old desktop computers and outdated cell phones.

The electronics giant began an in-store take back program earlier this year, offering consumers a convenient avenue for disposal and e-incarnation of their old gadgets, while mutually benefiting from the business the recycling traffic brings in.

Photo: Flickr/redjar

Since Best Buy's recycling program began, more than 25 million pounds of electronics have been collected for recycling, according to CNN Money. Photo: Flickr/redjar

Best Buy accepts two items per household per day, allowing nearly everything electronic including:

- Televisions and monitors up to 32 inches

- VCR and DVD players

- Cell phones

- Computers

- Accessories including keyboards, mice and remotes

There is a $10 charge for televisions, CRTs, monitors and laptops, though consumers will receive a $10 Best Buy gift card in exchange. Televisions and monitors larger than 32 inches, console televisions, items containing Freon, microwaves and other appliances are not accepted.

Though a nationwide recycling program for old electronics is expensive to run, the benefits are worth it. Each consumer toting an old electronic device in the store is just that – a consumer entering the store. In the world of retail, in-store traffic equals in-store revenue. That’s the tangible benefit.

The intangible, and perhaps the most important to the company, is the image branded as a result of the recycling program. From in-store recycling kiosks for smaller items such as DVDs and inkjet cartridges to the trade-in program offering customers gift cards for gently used electronics, a consumer will likely notice Best Buy’s recycling efforts.

As CNN Money reports, “By offering recycling, Best Buy positions itself as the place to turn when customers need to dispose of their electronics, which often coincides with the acquisition of a new device.”

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