I always feel a twinge of guilt when I throw away an empty inkjet cartridge or broken electronic gadget. If you’re the same way, this program might help ease the pain of tossing your tech junk.
The United States Postal Service recently announced a program for free recycling of inkjet cartridges and small electronics, including PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players. The Mail Back program is being piloted in 1500 Post Office branches around the country, but could go nationwide this fall.
Participating Post Office locations offer free, postage-paid envelopes for consumers to take and use to mail back their recyclable items. The postage is paid by Clover Technologies Group, which refurbishes and resells as many of the devices as possible. Pieces that cannot be reused are broken down for parts, or into recyclable components. Clover boasts a “zero waste to landfill” policy, which means “it does everything it can to avoid contributing any materials to the nation’s landfills.”
I think this program is a great idea. Most people will not go to the trouble and expense of recycling, unless it is cheap and easy. You can bet I’ll bet checking my local Post Office lobby for those Mail Back envelopes. I have an empty inkjet cartridge on my desk right now.