Best Buy tacks $25 charge onto TV, computer monitor recycling

A Best Buy store
Best Buy
Mark Lennihan | AP 2014

Updated 6:03 p.m. | Posted 11:42 a.m.

Best Buy said Monday it is now charging $25 to recycle a TV or computer monitor.

All other products, including batteries, ink cartridges, computers, and printers, can still be recycled for free at Best Buy stores. But the Twin Cities-based consumer electronics giant said it had to tack on the fee for TVs and monitors because of increased handling and recycling costs, as well as falling prices for commodities such as recycled glass.

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The goal has been to break even on electronics recycling but "we're not there today," Best Buy Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability Laura Bishop said in a statement.

"More and more cities and counties have cut their recycling programs for budget reasons, limiting consumer options even further," she said, adding that, "Best Buy should not be the sole e-cycling provider in any given area, nor should we assume the entire cost."

Last year, Best Buy recycled 14 million pounds of electronics in Minnesota. Since 2009, the company has recycled more than 1 billion pounds of electronics and appliances nationwide.

Each store is still averaging 50 to 200 TVs or cathode ray tube monitors per week. With more than 1,000 stores, that means Best Buy is dealing with millions of TVs and computer monitors annually.

The company will also stop collecting TVs and monitors in Illinois and Pennsylvania because those states forbid the company from collecting fees for recycling.

Bishop said it's expected there'll be a steady stream of the devices for a decade and there should be a coordinated effort to speed up collections

Best Buy says it will still recycle CRT TVs free of charge for customers who have a new TV delivered and set up.

When its recycling program started, Best Buy charged customers $10 to recycle electronics but gave them a $10 credit toward a purchase.

Best Buy also recently initiated a $15 fee to haul away unwanted appliances.

Best Buy has posted more detailed information on its recycling page on what it will and will not take.