Staples charges $10 to dispose of a single large item such as a monitor or a computer; that compares with $20 to $40 fees charged by professional recyclers and municipal disposal programs.
"An estimated 133,000 computers are discarded every day in the U.S.," said Mark Buckley, Staples VP of environmental affairs, in a statement. "We know that small businesses and consumers want to recycle their used office technology but are often frustrated by the lack of convenient options available."
Staples will take smaller items such as keyboards and mice free of charge. Televisions and large floor-model copiers won't be accepted in the program.
The program will adhere to standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and also features a partnership with electronics recycler Amandi Services. When gear to be recycled is dropped off at Staples outlets, the equipment is bagged and sealed for shipment to Amandi, which in turn disassembles the equipment. Amandi recycles CRTs, the most hazardous electronics waste, into raw material that can be used to make new TVs.
Buckley said none of the disposed products will be shipped overseas.