In a time where your gadgets almost become outdated by the time you get them home, electronic waste (e-waste) is piling up in landfills. The problems with e-waste go beyond the actual bulk, though. All of those electronics have components made of toxic substances, like arsenic and mercury, that leach into groundwater and pollute the environment. Electronic waste is actually considered hazardous waste.
Those old remotes and cell phones don't have to head to the landfill, though. Many cities now offer one or two e-waste recycling days each year, but if you can't wait to purge small electronics from your life, it looks like Best Buy has launched a program to make it easy as pie to safely dispose of some of that e-waste.
I spotted this convenient little small electronics recycling center on a recent trip to Best Buy. I'm not sure what the situation is at other Best Buys, but at the one near me, you don't even have to go all the way into the store to recycle. The kiosk was located right at the entrance, and they take inkjet cartridges, rechargeable batteries, CDs/DVDs, and gift cards, among other small e-waste items. It can vary by state, so you might want to check yours on their recycling page.
Best Buy also offers e-cycling for larger electronics. You can trade in old electronics for Best Buy gift cards, which I think is pretty smart. They refurbish and re-sell your used item, and you get some cash to spend in their store.
Like many companies, they'll haul off your old electronics for recycling when you get a new item delivered, but they'll also pick up some electronics like TVs and appliances (for a fee).
While I'm not nuts about big box stores in general, you can't exactly make a cell phone yourself or knit a new TV. It's nice to see a company taking some responsibility for the waste its business helps create! You can get more details about their recycling programs over at Best Buy's recycling site.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by stuartpilbrow