Dell Expands Its Free Tech RecyclingRecycling still free for Dell products, but no purchase of new equipment is required.
Liane Cassavoy, PC World
Not sure what to do with that old computer taking up space in your attic? You're not alone: The Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates that 50 to 70 percent of obsolete electronics products are being stored by their owners. But getting rid of that old tech gear is about to get a little easier, thanks to Dell's expanded recycling program, announced today.
Set to go into effect by September, the new program will offer free recycling for all Dell-branded products. Previously, the company's free recycling program was available only to consumers who purchased a replacement product from Dell. The new policy eliminates the purchase requirement.
"We have a responsibility to our customers to recycle the products we make and sell," company chairman Michael Dell said in a statement announcing the new service.
The service includes free at-home pickup of the used computer products. Dell also offers a fee-based recycling service for consumers who don't meet the requirements of either free program: The company charges $10 to recycle up to 50 pounds of computer equipment, regardless of the manufacturer; the fee includes home pickup. The company does encourage consumers who are interested in recycling non-Dell-branded products to check with the product manufacturer to see what their free recycling options may be available, however.
Recycling your old tech gear isn't just environmentally responsible; it's also good for the economy. "For every 10,000 tons of e-waste that are dumped in a landfill or incinerated, one job is created. For every 10,000 tons of e-waste that is reused or recycled, 250 jobs are created," says Neil Seldman, the president of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Those jobs handle the work necessary to dismantle and rebuild the equipment.
Dell isn't the only manufacturer with a recycling program, though some of the others aren't free. Check out, for instance, HP's Planet Partners recycling or IBM's PC Recycling Service for more details.
For additional information on tech recycling and places to recycle, read PC World's "Green PC" story.