I have been totally remiss for not writing about Best Buy’s recycling options. For years, there were limited places that would accept CDs and their plastic covers, gift cards or plugs for electronics. My only option was to pay to recycle the CDs and electronic cords with GreenDisk. I sent my gift cards to Earthworks. But not anymore. Best Buy takes back gift cards, electronics, CDs, and more.
Note the operative word, “MORE.”
A recycling center near you.
Much to my surprise, I discovered a year ago, I could recycle the following at Best Buy at their recycling center :
- CDs , DVDs and their plastic cases
- ink and toner cartridges
- Gift cards
- Electronic wire, cords and cables.
- Rechargeable batteries
- Plastic bags
Note, you can not recycle ordinary batteries at Best Buy. At the present time, I am taking them to Battery Plus, but I don’t go there until I amass a large amount of batteries. The closest store that takes back batteries is about a 45 minute drive from my house.
Unfortunately, I am charged by the store based upon weight since I bring a good amount of batteries. (Note, not all Battery Plus stores recycle batteries. Call before you go.)
So, you might be wondering why is it so important that I recycle the above items? Well, I have some fun facts to share that will help you make the decision:
1. Plastic Gift Cards: In 2012, the global card industry produced 33 billion gift cards. Most of those cards are made of PVC, which poses serious environmental risks. (Read here why we should recycle our gift cards.)
2. CDs and DVDs: Millions of CDs and DVDs are thrown in landfills and incinerators every year. As they break down, they release BPA into our air. When burned, CDs release toxic chemicals into our air as well. (Note: CD Recycling Center also takes back CDs , DVDs and cases.)
3. Ink Cartridges: Over 400,000 ink cartridges are sent to landfills every year. It takes from 450 to 1000 years for the cartridges to disintegrate. If people simply recycled their cartridges, 97% of the material could be reused and one cartridge can be refilled 15 times.
4. Rechargeable Batteries: These batteries contain toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and cobalt. If disposed of in a landfill or incinerator, the batteries can be hazardous to our health since the toxic chemicals contained in the batteries taint our air, soil and groundwater.
5. Electronics: Electronics contain over a 1000 different materials including brominated flame retardants, chlorinated solvents, PVC, heavy metal, plastic and gases. About 40% of heavy metals in landfills come from discarded electronics. Similar to rechargeable batteries, the toxic chemicals leach into our groundwater and taint our soil and air. Be sure to read my article about third world country electronic dumping.
6. Cell Phones: Cell phones contain natural resources that can be reused if they are recycled.
“For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.” [Source]
I am sure you can agree with me recycling is just plain good for the Earth.
Best Buy Takes Back Almost Everything with a Cord
Best Buy offers extensive electronic recycling as well. See here for details of which electronics they will recycle. Their website offers a handy drop down menu for your state as well as various product categories to search through.
Amazingly, the Company even take back speakers, alarm clocks, curling irons, and GPS devices. It seems that if the item has a cord or a battery, Best Buy takes it back.
So, recycling has never been easier.
Join the Conversation:
- Do you take electronics and other items to Best Buy for recycling?
- What is one item you didn’t realize you could recycle?