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Office Depot, Costco, DSI Launch Recycling, Trade-In Programs

Office Depot, Costco and distributor DSI are offering new programs to make it easier for consumers to safely dispose of their unwanted electronics.

The office-supply chain has begun selling Tech Recycling Boxes in small ($5), medium ($10) and large ($15) sizes that consumers can stuff with used CE products and bring to Office Depot stores for disposition. In observance of America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, the company will provide the medium-size boxes for free with purchases of $100 made Nov. 15-17. Customers can retrieve the boxes through Nov. 21, while supplies last.

Acceptable items include monitors, small TVs, laptop and desktop PCs, printers, scanners, phones, cameras, VCRs, cables and other products.

Meanwhile, Costco has launched an online recycling and trade-in service that allows members to ship their used CE devices to a third-party provider at no cost and receive a Costco cash card for those items that are determined to have trade-in value.

The program is managed by Boca Raton, Fla.-based GreenSight Technologies, a global supply-chain solutions provider that has developed asset recovery and management services to help clients, including several colleges and universities, dispose of assets in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines at the end of their useful life cycle.

Costco customers can visit a special GreenSight-managed mirror site via to determine their products’ worth on a value estimator, and to receive a prepaid UPS shipping label and, if applicable, a Costco cash card.

Eligible items include cameras and camcorders, gaming consoles, notebook and desktop PCs, CRT and LCD monitors, MP3 players, smartphones/PDAs, and personal printers and fax machines.

Costco says its recycling program employs a zero-tolerance landfill policy. All of the collected material is disassembled by hand, separated and reused as spare parts to repair similar devices, or as components for various raw material extraction processes including smelting and refining.

Similarly, DSI Systems, the national distributor of HDTVs and satellite equipment, has partnered with CEexchange to provide its dealers with a channel for disposing of unwanted CE items in exchange for up to several hundred dollars in cash, gift cards or store credits. To use the service, the retailer accesses a custom-designed mirror site at to determine the value of the used products, and CExchange sends the dealer a check for the equipment. DSI CEO Dave Robison said the new partnership will help drive additional foot traffic to retailers while helping to reduce a portion of the millions of tons of electronics that are thrown into landfills each year.