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What really happens to Amazon returns

By Katie Schoolov

Sending back an online order has never been easier. It’s often free for the customer, with some retailers even allowing customers to keep the item while offering a full refund.

Amazon returns can be dropped off at Kohl’sUPS or Whole Foods without boxing it up or even printing a label.

But there’s a darker side to the record number of returns flooding warehouses after the holidays.

“From all those returns, there’s now nearly 6 billion pounds of landfill waste generated a year and 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions as well,” said Tobin Moore, CEO of returns solution provider Optoro. “That’s the equivalent of the waste produced by 3.3 million Americans in a year.”

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