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

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the store shelves to the back rooms, however, and you may find museum-worthy televisions, old desktop computers and outdated cell phones.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.”

Feature image courtesy of Mike Mozart 

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  1. I used the Best Buy recycling program to return two older TV’s. It was great. The TV’s worked but were older and “BIGGER” than the flat screens of today. I tried to sell at a yard sale very cheap but no luck-no surprise. If I brought them to our town dump they would charge at least $20/TV to drop them off.

    I used Eart911 to see where they could be recycled and found out that Best Buy had a recycling program. With Christmas coming I was doing shopping anyway so the money I paid to recycle the TV’s was given back as a gift card. Basically, it did not cost me a thing and now I don’t have to look at two large TV’s in my basement.

    Thank you Bust Buy and Earth911.

  2. I also used the Best Buy recycling program because the program that my country runs costs $20 per TV, and we had two TVs to recycle. instead I brought my two old TVs into best buy, got my $20 in gift cards, and was able to buy some things I needed at Best Buy anyway. (of course I’m one of those “bad customers” who doesn’t spend more than they need to – no impulse purchases for me. ) Everyone wins!

  3. I have tried to locate somewhere to dispose of my 1000’s yes 1000’s of magazines I get per year, to no avail. I enjoy getting them and reading them but sometimes I get 2 or 3 from the same company with a different cover. I live in the sticks and DO shop catalogs so I really don’t want to tell them to stop sending them. Is there someone who takes these? If so, maybe I could start up a collection program in our area. If anyone knows, let me know. Closest big city is Redding, CA 96001

  4. Kelly, I’m in Florida, but thought I’d mention – my granddaughter’s elementary school is collecting old magazines and catalogues as a fundraiser. I don’t know what they’re doing with them or who they’re sending them on to, but you might want to check into it. They’re in the Osceola County School District (Florida) if you’d like to research. Maybe you could get your local school to start something similar.

  5. Thank you so much for the Best Buy information! I have a broken TV that I was dreading to put out in the trash (I called our township and they said they cannot recycle them). Now I will go to Best Buy and feel good. I’m also going to let our township recycling coordinator know so that when she gets calls about putting TV’s in the trash — she can recommend Best Buy as an earth friendly alternative. Hey, how about we all call our local municipalities and spread the word!

  6. FYI – I took old batteries and old CD/DVD’s over to Best Buy to recycle. I did not see a bin for them so I asked. The sales person did not know and asked a manager who responded “We don’t recycle CD/DVD’s – I don’t think anyone does- WE THROW THEM IN YHE GARBAGE!”
    Better recheck that store policy. This was the store in Salinas,CA behind Northridge shopping center.

  7. Just tried to turn in my very old computer video card and ethernet card. The alarm went off as I went in and the guy at the door inquired as to what I was returning. He then let me know that they do not recycle old computer parts. This store was in San Diego, CA.

  8. I have an old surge protector / ups that I need to dispose of or recycle. The thing is pretty heavy, and I assume that it is, in reality, a battery. Nothing that I plug into it works, but when I plug in those items into a different surge protector they work fine.
    Do I put it in my dumpster, or is there a better alternative?

  9. I can say that since the Best Buy recycling program has started it has also changed. Many, but not necessarily all, Best Buys now take even more things in for recycling! And now in some stores, again not all, there is no charge for recycling certain items! I guess they couldn’t charge according to certain state law so that is why I say not all store are like that. But again they have also expanded our ability to collect items. I’ve seen anything from type writers to old school glue guns that look like they came out in the 1920’s! It’s definitely an amazing thing, and I’m happy that we are trying to help when it comes to recycling efforts! If you have any questions about what Best Buy recycles and where to go to drop your items off you can always go on and follow the recycling link at the top or bottom of the page! Happy Recycling!

  10. Thanks Janessa! After what seemed like HOURS of searching, your suggestion to go to the bestbuy website was exactly what I needed.
    PS – store acceptance policy varies based on state, county and city laws, so checking the site worked the best for me.

  11. I work at a Bowling Center and we have 26 old 27″ television picture tubes to dispose of, does anybody know who will take them for less then $15. per tube. (we are in Colorado).


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