We recycle: Tech Culture
Tech Culture: We recycle3:18 /
We take to the streets to get rid of our old electronics supplies, and we hear from Best Buy's director of environmental affairs.
>>Oh, hey, I'm Mark Licea and if you're like me going through electronics is easy, but getting rid of them is the hard part. We have here a box of electronics, I have my old Nokia N95, some depleted double AA batteries, some promotional CDs and Natalie Del Conte's old MacBook battery. So, we're going to take these on the street and see how easy it is to recycle this stuff. Let's go. ^M00:00:30 [ Music ] ^M00:00:36 So, four block later and I'm here at RadioShack, there's probably one in your neighbor. So, let's go inside and see what we can recycle. So, I enter the store and right under the new cell phones is a box to recycle you old cell phones. They also take a slew of rechargeable batteries. So, let's get started. So, right here on the labeling of the box you can see it takes a variety of rechargeable batteries. Right here I have my MacBook battery, it is a Lithium Ion battery and on the box it does say it takes, it has to be less than 2 pounds. This is definitely less than two pounds. So, let's do it. I'm actually surprised because I thought that the only place that would recycle a MacBook battery would be the Apple store, that's not the case. You'll also want to make sure you don't recycle these alkaline batteries. It says so on the box but you can recycle these rechargeable batteries. I also have a non-working Siemens phone that I can get rid of but if you have a working phone, there's a program you maybe interested in. Now, RadioShack also has a program where you can exchange your working electronics for a gift card. An iPhone 3G will score you around $170 if it's in relatively good condition and you can put that money towards a new iPhone or anything else in the store. Now, let's see what the other retailers are doing. So, unlike RadioShack, the Sprint store does not have a recycling bin but as you can see from this sign right here, they're very serious about recycling their cell phones. They do give you this prepaid postage envelope where you can drop your cell phones in here and just put them in the mail. But if you go online, you can get cash back for your old broken phones. For example, this N95 which has seen better days will score me $11 on Sprint's website, not bad. Just got out of Best Buy and not surprisingly, they took everything in the box. They even gave me this cute little recycling sticker. Now, Best Buy is the largest electronics retailer in the country and we got to talk to their environmental affairs director about their recycling programs. >>We started consumer electronics recycling program about a year ago, February of 2009, and really it was born out of a need that we saw from our customers, that they needed a place to take their old stuff. It's just piling up in garages, backs of apartments, basements, etc. So, we started it in 2009 and it's been operating for a little over a year; very, very successful. Basically, we'll take in pretty much any electronic item that somebody wants to recycle regardless of whether they bought it from us. And in the first year we recycled over 60 million pounds of consumer electronics which was a pretty good start.