Best Buy’s recycling program is changing. Here’s how and why.

This week we introduced changes in our in-store recycling program that allow us to continue to provide this service for our customers.

We are now charging customers $25 for each TV and computer monitor they recycle at our stores. And in two states – Illinois and Pennsylvania – we are no longer recycling these particular products because of laws that prevent us from collecting fees to help run our program. All other products – such as batteries, ink cartridges, computers, printers and hundreds of other items –   continue to be recycled for free at all of our stores.

Since 2009, Best Buy has voluntarily operated the most comprehensive e-waste recycling service in the United States. We remain an industry leader and the only national retailer to provide this service. We are fully committed to being a convenient local resource for people to safely dispose of their consumer electronics and appliances. From time to time, though, we will make changes to ensure the service itself is sustainable, including charging fees to recycle certain products for which recycling costs have risen sharply. And we will continue to work closely with the consumer electronics industry to develop more and better recycling options.

Our goal has always been to simply break even on our recycling program, and we’re not there today. The new fees will help cover the increasing cost of managing TV and monitor disposal through our network of stores, distribution centers and recycling partners. E-waste volume is rising, commodity prices are falling and global outlets for recycled glass, a key component of TVs and monitors, have dramatically declined. More and more cities and counties have cut their recycling programs for budget reasons, limiting consumer options even further. While providing recycling solutions for our customers is a priority, Best Buy should not be the sole e-cycling provider in any given area, nor should we assume the entire cost.

We are particularly disappointed that we can no longer help our customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania with TV and monitor recycling simply because these state laws restrict retailers from operating recycling programs where nominal fees are charged to help offset rising costs.  Customers in these states can continue to recycle hundreds of other products free at our stores, as well as take advantage of in-home haul-away options for their TVs and large appliances.

For more information about the items Best Buy accepts for recycling, visit BestBuy.com/Recycle. If we’re unable to accept your product, call 1-800-RECYCLING (800-732-9254) for other local recycling options.

Laura Bishop is Best Buy’s Vice President of Public Affairs & Sustainability.