The US Postal Service has expanded the availability of a recycling program that pays cash for cellphones, cameras and other small electronic devices, to 3,100 retail locations.
The program ships donated electronics to recycling firm MaxBack facilities for free. Consumers can visit the Postal Service’s web site to find out how much MaxBack will pay for the phone.
Those phones that aren’t worth money can still be recycled using free mail-back envelopes at participating USPS locations. Cell phones and electronics that are damaged and unusable are remanufactured or recycled by MaxBack’s parent company Environmental Reclamation Services, a zero-landfill, reverse-logistics company owned by Clover Technologies Group Inc.
The original pilot program of the electronics recycling program was launched in 2008. Clover Technologies Group beat out 19 other companies for the contract. The pilot debuted in 10 areas across the country, including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif.
Last week, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sprint and Staples joined the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge, committing to send 100 percent of the used electronics they collect to third-party certified refurbishers and recyclers, and to increase the amount of used electronics they collect. The challenge, an initiative that aims to make electronics refurbishing and recycling practices the industry standard, requires recyclers to show an accredited, independent auditor they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage used electronics, in order to be certified.
In June, Sprint Nextel’s phone buyback program was ranked as the best among major US carriers, according to a report by Compass Intelligence. For the second consecutive year, Sprint’s trade-in program beat those from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and US Cellular in overall rankings. The company’s messaging of the program in signage and sponsorships, instant credit in Sprint retail stores, and overall ease and convenience of the customer experience contributed to its top ranking, according to the consulting firm.