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Recycling Becomes Big Business

Recycling Becomes Big BusinessLike most people, you’ve probably got a lot of junk sitting around. That old computer you upgraded, for instance, or the iPod you replaced. Maybe you’ve been meaning to get rid of it all,but never quite got around to it.   That ethos might change very soon, according to an Associated Press story. Companies are coming up with ideas to change theway we think about old gadgets.   TechForward is offering a buyback plan, under which consumers sign up when they purchase an item like an iPod,guaranteeing they’ll buy it from you at a pre-determined price (the figure depends on how long you own the item, and they’ll only accept working items in good condition). Get rid of thatiPod after one year and they’ll give you $40 and in two years $20.   "I just started thinking about ways that you could build a company around … encouraging people to live thatlifestyle of temporary ownership," Jade Van Doren, TechForward’s chief executive, told AP.   Although TechForward currently only operates in some West Coast stores, which share the money itmakes, and the company claims the retailers are offering its guarantee on 12% of applicable products.   NEW Corp. is already established as the extendedwarranty company for Wal-Mart and Best Buy, and is taking a slightly different approach to recycling. Instead it will offerstore credit for covered gadgets when they’re traded in. The really good news is that you won’t need a receipt, so you can trade in items bought elsewhere and still receive credit. Thecompany plans on rolling out the program in the second quarter of this year, although it won’t say yet which retailers will participate.   Apple,Dell, HP and Sony all already have their own recycling programs, but the EPA estimates that just 12.5% of electronic waste is recycled.  

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