You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Online electronics recycling: Good deal on going green

Oct. 20, 2008 - 05:25PM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 20, 2008 - 05:25PM  |  

Digging through drawers and closets for old cell phones, electronics and computers could pay off in more ways than one.

You can recycle them and help the environment, and possibly earn cash through a new online vendor at the Exchange Online Mall called

Customers normally get discounts from merchants in the online mall. But in this case, you pay nothing not even shipping so there's nothing to get a discount on. However, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which manages the online mall, has negotiated with to give military customers a better cash rebate. has agreed to give military-affiliated customers a 10 percent higher cash payout for recycled items. The payouts come in the form of a Visa prepaid card, which you can use at most stores.

Here's how it works: You log on to">,">,"> or">, then click on the Exchange Online Mall icon and go to

Tell the site what you want to recycle, and the site will come back with a cash offer.

In some cases, the item may not be worth anything on the resale market and you won't be offered a payment but you still can send the item to be recycled.

If you agree to the offer, you print out a label and packing slip, box up the item and mail it. The company pays for shipping even if the item is worth nothing.

That's a break for service members: The common practice in recycling is to charge for shipping if the materials cannot be resold.

"We wanted to make it very easy for our customers, without any cost to them," said Don Walker, AAFES online mall merchandise manager. "Things are getting tougher with the economy, and they can pick up some extra cash."

Walker said AAFES officials chose to use a Visa prepaid card for payment rather than an AAFES gift card because they didn't want to exclude people who are in locations where they can't use an AAFES gift card. (The exchange online store does not accept gift cards.) When you receive the Visa prepaid card, you'll also receive a coupon code for a discount at the exchange online store.

The company encourages you to erase any computer hard drive that you send. But even if you don't, the company erases all hard drives using standard Defense Department procedures.

What happens to your recycled items? Depending on the condition of the item, it either will be reused or broken down into raw materials that are reused.

No computer goes out the same way it came in. For example, it may go out in pieces in different computers, if it is recycled.

Overseas customers can use the site, too.

Questions or comments? E-mail staff writer from reader">Karen Jowers at">

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook