Print 22 comment(s) - last by TheMouse.. on Mar 26 at 2:50 PM

Pilot program in 10 cities and 1,500 Post offices nationwide could see use across the country

Many in America understand the need to recycle things like cans, glass and paper to keep it from our landfills and reduce our need for natural resources. However, many fail to think of recycling when it comes time to get rid of old electronics.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a new program to allow the recycling of used electronics and ink cartridges free of charge. The postage for the program, which is currently being piloted in 1,500 post offices across the country, is paid for by Clover Technologies Group.

Clover is a company that recycles remakes and resells ink cartridges, laser toner cartridges and small electronics. The program will allow consumers to send in items like BlackBerry’s, MP3 players, PDAs and digital cameras for recycle free of charge.

Clover has a zero landfill policy and recycles or reuses every device or cartridge returned without throwing anything away. Annita Bizzotto, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of the USPS said in a statement, “It was this philosophy [zero landfill] that won Clover the contract with the Postal Service, besting 19 other companies.”

The USPS says that the free, postage-paid envelopes can be found on displays in Post Office lobbies and that there are no limits on the amount of envelopes customers can take. The pilot program includes 1,500 Post Offices in ten areas across the country. The areas include Washington D.C., Chicago, LA and San Diego. Postal officials say that if the program is successful in the pilot areas, the program will be rolled out nationwide.

This is a noble attempt by the U.S. government to try and curb the amount of electronics that end up in our landfills or that is shipped overseas for disposal. DailyTech reported in November of 2007 that the U.S. ships in the area of 300,000 tons of tech trash overseas each year.

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RE: clarification
By therealnickdanger on 3/18/2008 2:51:15 PM , Rating: 5
Now what I would like to know is if this is an attempt by the USPS to justify their existence or not. Clearly, if they can get paid to ship 300,000 tons (or even a fraction of that) of trash around every year, that's got to help pay a lot of wages and benefits.

It would see to me that USPS is thinking ahead in an attempt to save itself from inevitable doom (not soon, but many years from now). E-mail has made a dent in personal correspondence mail. As e-mail and digital documents continue to encroach on snail-mail and couriers, USPS will have to adapt to stay afloat. Their "certified e-mail" program never saw the light of day. If this means hauling away your trash, it would seem that they are willing.

I wonder how long it is before this "free" service ends up costing you and me postage... and then the postage price is raised...

RE: clarification
By FITCamaro on 3/18/2008 3:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
The mail system will always be needed.

RE: clarification
By Omega215D on 3/18/2008 10:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
This is college applications time for my sister and we're getting loads of mail from different colleges. Sure there are websites for them but a nice booklet is much better in getting to know the school better.

I also enjoy getting MaximumPC in the mail along with my motorcycle magazines. A Victoria's Secret catalog is always welcome.

Another thing to note is that the USPS is the only service allowed for military, UPS and DHL cannot go to bases or camps on the other side of the world (I worked for UPS and I was told we could not ship anything that contained military addresses).

RE: clarification
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2008 8:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
As far as the Victoria Secret catalog is concerned, a computer screen wipes off easier. ;)

Just kidding. It's good to have a girlfriend who says things like "We should never go without sex that long again" after less than 48 hours since the last time. :)

RE: clarification
By bhieb on 3/18/2008 5:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest problem the USPS faces is that it cannot choose it's customers. UPS and Fedex work, because you choose to ship/receive a package with them. Nothing going to your house today, then no USP truck has to stop there. However the USPS is mandated to at least drive by every box every day regardless of wether mail is going out. They have a huge number of new addresses they have to service increasing each year, but the number of people actually mailing stuff is declining. It is not like they can say well you live in middleofnowhere, OK so we'll only be by once a week.

Another reason is thier union is arguably one of the worst ones in the country (too have as an employerthat is, I am sure working for it is great).

Also just an FYI, Fedex is the largest supplier to the USPS (and has been since 9/11 when mail could not be flown on commercial jets any longer, almost all Express Mail goes on a FedEx plane). Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, when a main competitor is your largest supplier, there is a big problem.

RE: clarification
By AlphaVirus on 3/18/2008 5:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
It is not like they can say well you live in middleofnowhere, OK so we'll only be by once a week.

In 'middleofnowhere' areas, it certainly feels this way. If you live so far out, you might have to travel 1+ miles just to get to your mailbox. Its not like cities where you have a mailbox on your front door or at the edge of your lot.

My grandmother had a farm in the 'middleofnowhere' within Colorado and this is what she had to do to check her mail. Sometimes she wouldnt check it for a couple of days as the drive becomes annoying.

RE: clarification
By TheMouse on 3/26/2008 2:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
I am in disagreement. I would argue that the internet has increased USPS's need. We have more online orders being shipped through usps than ever. And I'd imagine that packages are more profitable than first class mail.

RE: clarification
By TheMouse on 3/26/2008 2:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
I should add that eBay alone has done wonders for USPS

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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