Here’s a double dose of great green news: At its corporate campus in Richfield, Minn. today, Best Buy celebrated the landmark achievement of one billion pounds of e-waste recycled in six years by customers at 1,400 U.S. stores. The company also announced an ambitious new goal to collect an additional two billion pounds of electronics and large appliances by 2020.
Complete with a state proclamation and attendance from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Best Buy has now set its sights on helping more consumers recycle large and cumbersome products that are difficult to dispose of and they may not know their options, such as large TVs and appliances. Additionally, Best Buy will continue to recycle most consumer electronics at all of their large format and specialty stores for free.
“Best Buy is an industry leader in helping consumers to recycle their old electronics,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Their efforts are good for Minnesota’s environment and consumers. I thank Best Buy for their outstanding leadership and for their continuing commitment to responsible environmental stewardship.”
Since 2009, Best Buy’s collected more than 20 million products a year on average, including everything from an antique ice box to a 1985 Nintendo Robot (a collector’s item).
The next goal — an additional two billion pounds by 2020 — is equivalent to a freight train with more than 3500 cars (or 3 pounds for every man, woman, and child in the United States. It’s 2.4 ounces for every human being on the planet).
Best Buy’s ambitions are informed by research that confirms the growing need for convenient and free recycling options. A recent national survey of 900-plus men and women ages 18-65 conducted on behalf of Best Buy by branding firm Millward Brown revealed that:
- Most people (61 percent) don’t recycle their electronics or appliances because they don’t know where to take them, because it’s a hassle or because it costs money.
- 39 percent of people say they recycle their electronics now, but nearly twice as many (70%) say they intend to so in the future.
- The majority (64 percent) of those who do recycle their electronics tend to wait until their devices stop working before they recycle.
- The highest recycling need today? Your old tube TV – also known as analog or a cathode ray tube (CRT). The highest recycling needs in the future? Mobile phones and TVs.