top of page

Merchant Take-Back Policies

Across the country, landfills and back lots are filling up with the detritus of America's disposable lifestyle. As a result, the idea that the true "cost" of a product includes the price of disposal is beginning to resonate with consumers.

​Certainly any retailer in your town who sells readily recyclable products − newspapers, magazines, paper supplies, soda, bottled water, bottled drinks, electronics and cell phones − has a responsibility to provide a convenient method for customers to recycle those products at the point of purchase.

Local purveyors of products which should never enter the waste stream, including batteries, motor oil, oil-based paints and stains, wood preservatives, pesticides and solvents, should share the responsibility for their proper disposal.

Old technology equipment in carts

It's all part of Extended Producer Responsibility – integrating the entire cost of a product's lice cycle into its market price.

The Take It Back Network is the product of a partnership between the King County, WA Solid Waste Division and Seattle Public Utilities in which retailers, repair shops, charitable organizations and recyclers provide consumers with options for recycling certain products − and their hazardous components − in a safe and cost effective manner.


EPEAT is the definitive global registry for greener electronics. It's an easy-to-use resource for purchasers, manufacturers, resellers and others wanting to find or promote environmentally preferable products. 


[1] Esenduran, G., & Kemahlıoğlu-Ziya, E. (2014). A Comparison of Product Take-Back Compliance Schemes. Production and Operations Management, 24(1), 71-88.

[2] New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. (2018). Plastic Bag and Film Plastics Recycling for Retailers.


[3] Penn State: College of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension. (2009). Household Hazardous Products and Hazardous Waste: A Summary for Consumers. (Rep.),  19-22.

[4] Subramanian, R., et al. (2009). Product Design and Supply Chain Coordination Under Extended Producer Responsibility. Production and Operations Management, 18(3), 259-277.

bottom of page