There is no question that the short shelf-life of the typical computer and computer monitor is harming the environment.
There is no question that the short shelf-life of the typical computer and computer monitor is harming the environment. The metals and chemicals used to make computer equipment are not environment-friendly, prompting debate about what to do with obsolete computers.
Some states have taken action; in Massachusetts, for instance, it is not legal to dump a computer monitor in a landfill. While a well-intended law, it is not uncommon to see abandoned computer monitors left on the street in Boston, because people don't know what to do with them otherwise.
One solution that has been proposed is to require the sellers of computer equipment to accept used equipment for recycling, not unlike a similar requirement for used motor oil in many states. This approach misses one very big thing, however: Dell.
Go into any Best Buy or Comp USA, or any other retailer that sells computers, and you will see many computers from many different manufacturers. What you won't see, however, are Dell computers. Dell founder Michael Dell decided long ago that the retail-store approach to selling computers wasn't viable for his company. Instead, Dell sells directly to businesses and directly to consumers online.
The company is aware of its unique place in the computer market, and the unique challenge that would be posed by a requirement to take back all obsolete computers that it sells my mail.
Dell announced today that it plans to increase its product recovery commitment to 50 percent of its products, as measured by weight. "Dell is committed to making product recovery as convenient and affordable as product purchase for customers and to continually increasing the amount of used product our Asset Recovery Service recovers," said Ken Hashman, vice president of Dell's Deployment and Field Services.
Dell recovered more than 24 million pounds of used product from customers in the US, a 234 percent increase over fiscal year 2004 results. Worldwide, Dell recovered nearly 66 million pounds of product during the period.
Dell Inc. is the second-largest computer seller in the world, behind Hewlett-Packard. The company has about 150,000 employees and it's current sales are about $50 billion per year.
Source: Dell Inc., Hoover's