In Germany, the postal service plans to make some revenue by collecting old mobile phones, household electronic devices, used printer cartridges, and any other e-waste that is small enough to fit in one of their A4-size envelopes.
Gold, silver, copper and dozens of other valuable
raw materials are hidden in every electronic device and waiting to be
plundered. ALBA, the
company that will recycle
the electro-waste, projects that up to 80 percent of the materials in old
electronics can be recycled. They are hoping to see 10,000 submissions per month,
filled with consumer products that otherwise were destined for a landfill,
or lying neglected at the back of a drawer.
Patrons can download a postage-paid
label from the online site of the German Post, free of cost. Once
labelled, possible treasures can be dropped into any post box, and will
be sent to the ALBA recycling facilities.
The project, called "Electroreturn,"
will be supported for one year, after which the Post will examine whether the
effort is worth continuing. If the estimated 83 million old mobile phones that
are out of use but not yet disposed of return to the material supply chain, the
project may prove itself worthwhile.