Staples new nationwide computer recycling program will accept all brands of computers, regardless of where they were purchased. Small items such as keyboards and mice will be accepted at no charge, while larger items will be charged $10 to cover handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling. The move adds to an existing program that already accepts smaller devices like cell phones, pagers and digital cameras free of charge, and Staples is insisting that the recycling will be done both domestically and responsibly.
Staples said its program will ship the devices for domestic recycling by Vestal, N.Y.-based Amandi Services, which Staples calls "one of the country's most experienced and innovative electronics recyclers." Amandi complies with federal standards for electronics recycling and will take steps to ensure personal data stored on old computers aren't compromised, Staples says.
"We're not shipping products overseas, and we have a strict chain of custody to make sure we know where these materials are going," Buckley said.
Some critics are calling for them to drop the $10 charge and perform the service for free, but let's be realistic. Staples is a business not a charity, and the fact that they are offering this program free for most items is good news. Also, seeing as most computers are purchased as replacements for outdated models, it's fair to say that if you can afford to drop $1,000 on a new computer, you can also afford another $10 to ensure that the toxic waste from your old model does not end up in an Asian garbage dump.
Details of the program as follows:
- Customers drop off their old equipment at the customer service desk at any Staples store, 7 days a week during regular store hours; (TV’s and large, floor-model copiers are not accepted).
- Staples will recycle any manufacturers’ products, regardless of whether or not it was purchased from Staples, and there’s no limit on the quantity of equipment that can be recycled.
- A recycling fee of $10 per piece of large equipment is charged to cover handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling. Smaller computer peripherals, such as keyboards and mice, will be recycled for free.
- Staples Easy Techsm service is on site in all stores to transfer data from an old computer to a new one for a fee.