Post Office kicks off free, by-mail gadget recycling

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/15011 

recycle cell phonesGot an old camera, cell phone, or MP3 player that you want to toss? Under a new pilot program offered by the U.S. Postal Service, recycling your dead gadgets is as easy as dropping them in the mail.
Computerworld reports that the Post Office’s new “Mail Back” program is getting a trial run in 10 U.S. markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. If the pilot program takes off, a nationwide rollout will follow.

So here’s the deal: Just bring your old gadgets (handhelds, cell phones, MP3 players, and even inkjet cartridges – no 20″ CRTs or dead dot-matrix printers, unfortunately) to one of 1,500 participating post offices, seal them in preprinted, postage-paid envelopes (you can take as many envelopes as you want), and drop them in the mail.

The package goes to Clover Technologies Group, which is partnering with the Post Office in the new recycling program. In a press release, the Post Office promises that Clover will refurbish, resell, or break down the discarded gadgets for recycling, and that nothing will end up in a landfill.

It’s a clever idea for those of us with old electronics too outdated to sell on eBay. Indeed, I have an old, 2001-era iPod that’s essentially worthless (I priced it over at SecondRotation and got an estimate of exactly $0), and I’d rather drop it in the mail than pay to have it recycled.

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