Saturday, October 17, 2009

Best Buy lets me say "Bye Bye" to electronic junk

I don't usually blog on the weekend, but I'm working today anyway, and I'm pretty excited about this Corporate Social Responsibility initiative by Best Buy:

From October 16, to October 21, Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores across Canada will offer Trade-In incentives on a number of products including:

- Trade-in your LCD or tube TV and save up to $200 off the purchase of
a Best Buy exclusive ENERGY STAR (R) HDTV
- Trade-in your old VCR and receive $30 off the purchase of a
Toshiba DVD recorder or $20 off a Samsung Blu-ray player
- Trade-in your old remote control and receive 15 per cent off a Harmony
remote control
- Bring in any camera or camcorder and save up to $100 on a new Canon
camera or camcorder
- Bring in your old laptop or desktop computer and receive $100 off the
purchase of any Toshiba Laptop
- Bring in your old monitor and save $50 off an Energy Star-rated
HP monitor
- Trade in your old telephone and receive $30 off the purchase of any
Panasonic multi-handset cordless phone
- Trade in your old GPS system and save $50 with an upgrade to the
TomTom GO730 GPS with BlueTooth capabilities
- Trade in your old headphones and receive up to $20 off of select
Sony and Bose headphones

As both an '80s guy and a (not yet ready for reality TV) hoarder, I have accumulated a huge pile of semi-functional, obsolete technology in my basement. Remember when stereos came in components? Well, convergence has made most of them redundant.

My big issue was that I knew these things were hazardous waste. You don't want your fake fur covered quadraphonic 8-track receiver going into the town dump. Even newer items can contain lead, mercury, and other nasty stuff. Not to mention what a waste it is to throw out all that metal.

I tried to give away the old components, using the urban tradition of leaving it out by the curb. Not even the scroungers would take them. (Well, they did take some old speakers, but that was it.)

I looked into local recyclers, and they tend to be out in the country, and charge to take things like TVs and monitors. I figured that big box retailers must have some sort of responsibility program to compensate for all the disposable electronics they put out there, but didn't see anything obvious. Then a Facebook friend posted the Best Buy link. I was ecstatic.

So this morning, I loaded up my wife's car with electronic junk and took it in. The guy at the door was friendly, and helpful, and took it right off my hands. They took my broken iron, too! I didn't even want trade-in discounts (there are no coupons, just instant point-of-sale credit for things I don't really need more of). I was just thrilled to know that I now have a couple more square meters of storage space — and I did it right.

Thanks, Best Buy. Bye bye, home entertainment trash.


  1. The Kingston store wasn't as helpful. I took out two laptops and was sent to the computer department where I was initially told that I could only recycle if I was trading in. After some discussion , they did take my stuff.

  2. My Ottawa experience was completely different. The "greeter" cheerfully took it all off my hands, no questions asked (besides a friendly "are you sure there's nothing you want to trade in for?")

    That Kingston store needs to buy a clue.