Charge $200 for some recycling? Best Buy thinks it can
Electronics retailers sees gold in hauling away your electronic trash.
(A native of England, Matthew Diebel is a veteran journalist who has worked at NBC News, Time, USA Today and News Corp., among other organizations. Having spent his childhood next to one of the world's fastest bodies of water, he is particularly interested in tidal energy.)
Here at Callaway Climate Insights, we’ve always believed that what caused the environmental crisis — capitalism — will be largely the same force that solves it.
For example, as we reported in March, much of the U.S.’s renewable energy is being generated by the wind and sun of the nation’s more loosely regulated heartland red states, a fact reinforced by a just-published CNN article that details renewables projects in Oklahoma.
And now comes news of another grab for environmental gold: Electronics giant Best Buy (BBY) has just announced a program called the Standalone Haul-Away Service, where it will pick up and recycle — for a not-inconsiderable $199 — a total of two large products (including TVs, major appliances, all-in-one computers and monitors), along with an unlimited number of select smaller products.
OK, so it’s a bellyache to have to corral your castoffs and take them either to a municipally run recycling center or retailers (such as Best Buy) that have electronic waste programs, but it’s plain that the Minnesota-based giant isn’t hauling your stuff away out of the goodness of its heart.
As The Verge’s Emma Roth writes, “Personally, I can’t see myself using Best Buy’s … service unless I’m junking a large appliance or an absurd number of smaller items (not that I know anyone who has dozens of laptops, MP3 players, or old cellphones lying around). It’s not because I don’t want to recycle, but because I don’t think you should have to pay almost $200 for someone to recycle it for you.”
That’s unless, like some of this scribe’s pals do, you live four flights up in a small New York City apartment building. Then having Best Buy get rid of that cavernous refrigerator and hefty oven seems a bargain.
Hey, capitalism works both ways.