The U.S. Postal Service launched a pilot program that allows customers to recycle small electronics and ink-jet cartridges by mailing them free of charge. The “Mail Back” program makes it easier for customers to discard used or obsolete small electronics in an environmentally responsible way. Customers can now find free envelopes in 1,500 post offices. The envelopes can be used to mail back PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players without having to pay postage.
Postage is paid by Clover Technologies Group, a company that recycles, remanufactures and re-markets ink-jet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics. If the electronic item or cartridge cannot be refurbished and resold, its components are reused to refurbish other items or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled. Clover has a “zero waste to landfill” policy, which means it does everything it can to avoid contributing any materials to landfills.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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