May 29, 2008 — If you live in one of the 10 areas of the country where the U.S. Postal Service is running a pilot program, you can send your old cell phone, PDA, or inkjet cartridge to a recycling facility for free.
The “mail back” program helps consumers make more environmentally friendly choices, making it easier for customers to discard used or obsolete small electronics in an environmentally responsible way. Customers use free envelopes found in 1,500 post offices to mail back Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players — without having to pay for postage.
Postage is paid for by Clover Technologies Group, a company that recycles, remanufactures, and remarkets inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics. If the electronic item or cartridges cannot be refurbished and resold, its component parts are used to refurbish other items, or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled.
The free, postage-paid mail-back envelopes can be found on displays in post office lobbies. There is no limit to the number of envelopes customers may take
The pilot is set for 10 areas across the country, including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego, and could become a national program this fall if the pilot proves successful.
Source: U.S. Postal Service, www.usps.com