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Staples Launches Nationwide IT Recycling Program

5/21/2007 02:48:00 PM Eastern

Framingham, Mass. — Staples announced today that it will begin accepting used PCs and accessories at all its stores in one of the CE industry’s most comprehensive and practical recycling efforts.

Under the initiative, the office supply chain will take an unlimited number of computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes and all-in-ones for a recycling fee of $10 per large item, regardless of brand or where the equipment was purchased, while smaller computer peripherals, such as keyboards and mice, will be accepted for free. TVs and floor model copiers are not included in the program.

The company already provides in-store recycling for ink and toner cartridges, cellphones, PDAs and rechargeable batteries.

Staples said it is working with Amandi Services, a national electronics recycler, to handle the disposition of the equipment, following standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“An estimated 133,000 computers are discarded every day in the U.S.,” said Mark Buckley, Staples’ environmental affairs VP. “We know that small businesses and consumers want to recycle their used office technology but are often frustrated by the lack of convenient options available. By making it easy to recycle, Staples helps customers take action in handling e-waste in an environmentally responsible way.”

Added EPA administrator Stephen Johnson: “Through the leadership of Staples, Americans will see that preventing pollution by recycling unwanted electronics is as easy as it gets. EPA and our Plug-In To eCycling partners are helping make sure yesterday’s high-tech gadgets do not go to waste.”

Under the Staples’ program, customers can drop off old equipment at the customer service desk of any Staples store seven days a week during regular hours. The $10 recycling fee covers handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling, and Staples’ Easy Tech IT service is on site in all stores to transfer data from an old computer to a new one for a fee.

Used equipment is bagged and sealed, and the items are picked up and delivered to Amandi Services, which disassembles the equipment into its component parts and uses industry-leading standards for data destruction. Amandi will recycle the raw materials, such as the plastics, metals, printed circuit boards and CRTs. CRTs, the most hazardous part of electronics waste, will be recycled via a proprietary technology into a raw material that is used to manufacture new televisions.

Staples has offered computer recycling in its Seattle area stores for the past two years and recycled more than 17 million ink and toner cartridges and 3,500 tons of electronic waste in 2006. Staples also carries a wide assortment of eco-friendly products, including more than 2,900 made with recycled materials; invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy; provides environmental educational programs for customers and employees; and is one of the country’s largest retail and Fortune 500 purchasers of green power.

Staples’ new recycling program is one of the largest and most consumer-friendly initiatives within the CE industry. Past and current green efforts include:

  • Rethink, an educational program for PC recycling launched by eBay in early 2005 in association with Apple, Gateway, HP, IBM, Ingram Micro and Intel with the EPA, the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and eBay customers.

  • myGreenElectronics.org, a CEA Web site created to help consumers easily locate local recyclers, identify “green” CE products that are considered eco-friendly, to dispel myths and present facts on consumer electronics and energy consumption.

  • Last month Sharp offered to cover the cost and logistics of recycling old analog TVs for consumers who purchased one of its new 37-inch or larger flat-panel AQUOS HDTV sets through its customer-direct retail program.

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