The US Postal Service has expanded its recycling programme for small electronic gadgets, to 3,100 retail locations.
The service is run in partnership with Pennsylvania-based electronics recycling company MaxBack, and offers consumers money back for handing their old mobile phones, digital cameras, inkjet cartridges or similar devices into a post office.
Consumers can check on the USPS website what their old cell phone or electronic device is worth, then pick up a free Priority Mail envelope at post offices to ship back their equipment without charge.
MaxBack’s parent company, Environmental Reclamation Services, which is itself owned by Clover Technologies Group, Inc., pays consumers once they have received items through the mail.
USPS said even if old electrical equipment is not worth anything, consumers can recycle them through the programme free of charge.
Clover Technologies Group, Inc., based in Erie, Pennsylvania, has been working with USPS since early 2008, when it launched the electronics recycling programme as a pilot available through 1,500 post offices around Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego.
The company pays the postage for the items being shipped, refurbishing and reselling equipment it receives, or in the case of items that cannot be refurbished, breaks them down into reusable parts or recyclable materials.
USPS chief sustainability officer Thomas G. Day said the recycling programme was part of the Postal Service’s efforts to be a sustainability leader.
The Postal Service is part of the International Post Corporation’s Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System, the group of postal operators aiming to cut their carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, compared to 2008 levels.
Day said: “Our network infrastructure and logistical capability to deliver to every residence and business in the U.S. make the Postal Service a logical partner with a premiere recycler like MaxBack to maximize this green initiative.”