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August 2006


Dell updates global product recycling policy

Dell has taken the next big step in product-stewardship with their latest product recycling policy. On June 28th, Michael Dell announced Dell’s new global recycling policy – Dell will provide consumers with free recycling of any Dell product with or without the purchase of a new Dell product.

This is in addition to Dell’s already existing policy of recycling electronics from any manufacturer with the purchase of a new Dell. There are three steps for a consumer to go through to obtain Dell recycling.

First they need to go online and enter the asset tag (a unique ID on each piece of Dell equipment). Then they will print out the label and package the recyclables as instructed. Finally, they arrange for an in-home pickup of the package.

All of this is free of charge, even the in-home pickup. According to Michael Dell, “We don’t believe that consumers should have to pay for the responsible retirement of used electronic products.” He went on to state that, “Our direct relationships with consumers allow us to offer this easy and free service.”

Dell has priorities when deciding what to do with the recycled equipment. The first priority of the company is re-use of the equipment in its original form. To this effect, many of the collected computers are donated to worthy causes. If the equipment is not usable in its original form, then Dell attempts to re-use components of the whole separately. Finally, if that is not possible, Dell will arrange for the materials to be recycled.

According to Kate Krebs, executive director of the National Recycling Coalition, the announcement by Dell is “really just the genesis of a journey towards greater producer responsibility for products and packaging that we have in our everyday lives.” Krebs went on to request that Dell’s competitors match their commitment to free and convenient recycling services for their customers.

The policy has already been implemented in Europe, and Dell hopes to have the United States program up and running by September.

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