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September 2006


UPS recycles electronics

UPS, one of the largest parcel shipping services in the United States, also happens to be one of the most environmentally conscious. In 2000, UPS implemented its Asset Recovery and Recycling Management services, and over the past six years, has managed to recycle 16.9 million pounds of electronic equipment.

The service is designed to streamline companies’ often fragmented or non-existent e-waste disposal policies. With increasing government enforcement of correct handling and reporting standards, UPS provides companies with a single point of contact, better tracking and governmentally compliant records.

Additionally, UPS has Supply Chain Solutions distribution facilities scattered across the nation which serve as convenient drop off points for used or damaged electronic components. If dropping the e-waste off is not an option, UPS can arrange for the pick up and shipment of obsolete electronics from a company’s own distribution centers.

The drop off concept is for more than large corporations. At certain locations of The UPS Store, individuals may stop by and drop off their old cell phones, which are shipped to ReCellular, a UPS partner. ReCellular then refurbishes the phones and resells them in developing markets.

Internally, UPS has developed a web site for company technicians to determine if computer equipment should be repaired or sent to a vendor for refurbishment or recycling.

UPS, along with others, has also partnered with eBay to provide consumers and corporations alike with information and resources for environmentally-friendly disposal of e-waste. The program is called the ReThink initiative and more about it can be viewed at

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