×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dell Launches Free PC Recycling

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the there-should-be-free-as-in-beer-recycling dept.

110

digihome writes to mention the implementation of a free PC recycling service for all systems sold by the company. From the article: "The no-charge home pickup program was announced in June. Dell already offers similar programs in Europe and Canada. After enduring tough criticism over the years from environmental groups, tech companies have started offering more ways for consumers to properly dispose of computer gadgets and to conserve electricity while using computer gear. Among tech companies, environmental advocacy group Greenpeace has singled out Dell and mobile-phone maker Nokia for their ecologically conscientious policies."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

110 comments

Recycle... (2, Insightful)

MeatFlap3 (741121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254963)

It may be a better offer if you could include computers from any source, not just dell, right?

-r

Re:Recycle... (5, Funny)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254969)

It may be a better offer if you could include computers from any source, not just dell, right?

Good point. And while they're at it, I have an old futon that the cat pissed on that I've been looking to dump, so maybe they can take that too.

Re:Recycle... (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254977)

Why should Dell pay to recycle their competitors products?

Re:Recycle... (2, Insightful)

k3vlar (979024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256163)

If Dell recycles an old product from a competitor, then, theoretically, it's a space for them to fill with their own product.
It's like those stupid car dealerships offering to make the last 3 payments on a competitor's lease, so they can get you into one of their cars faster.

Re:Recycle... (2, Insightful)

Wooloomooloo (902011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254995)

It's up to the other PC manufactures to implement similar policies. Why should Dell worry about disposing other companies' equipment?

Re:Recycle... (4, Insightful)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255065)

Because its downright silly to have 3 big trucks drive by to pick up 2 computers and a printer in the name of "envrionmental cleanliness"?
If anything the big names should all pitch in and form a collaborative group.

Re:Recycle... (2)

Wooloomooloo (902011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255137)

You're right in that they should form a group, but until that happens (if it happens) I don't think Dell's going to take their competitor's garbage. It does cost money, after all.

Re:Recycle... (1)

fossa (212602) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255335)

My favorite is those billboard trucks driving around. I know it takes energy to put up a static billboard, but something about driving around burning gas and increasing traffic just to wave a sign sickens me.

Re:Recycle... (1)

Woldry (928749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255401)

Getting off topic, of course, but:

Actually, in a lot of places, companies turn to billboard trucks because the local zoning laws in some way prevent them from advertising their business. One community near me had a controversy recently: a store owner wanted a bigger sign than the (unusually restrictive) zoning laws there allowed, and so he bought a billboard truck and parked it (legally) on the street in front of his business. They wanted to pass an ordinance forbidding billboard trucks from the municipality altogether. I never did hear whether the ordinance passed.

Re:Recycle... (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255501)

"Because its downright silly to have 3 big trucks drive by to pick up 2 computers and a printer in the name of "envrionmental cleanliness"?
If anything the big names should all pitch in and form a collaborative group."

Agreed. Before curbside recycling was common, there were places in my town where everyone took all the cans, bottles, and batteries for recycling. We still have something similar for oil, paint, and other nasty stuff. Why not do something similar for computers-just let everyone drop them off at the mall or something. It would have to be less expensive than all the pickup/mail-in nonsense we have now.

Maybe the computer makers could just pay the Salvation Army and Goodwill to handle it, since their pickup center staff spend most of their weekends just repeating the phrase "no, we don't take old computers" over and over on weekends. Talk about a win-win.

Re:Recycle... (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257079)

Why not do something similar for computers-just let everyone drop them off at the mall or something. It would have to be less expensive than all the pickup/mail-in nonsense we have now.
The purpose of the "pickup/mail-in nonsense" is to make it easier for people to turn their old stuff in instead of just toss it in the garbage (which whould be bad given the amount of crap in a random computer). People are lazy and don't care, so this is a way to try and deal with that problem.

Let's just hope the "recycling" doesn't take place in China with children boiling motherboards in chauldrons to disassemble them. :-/

Re:Recycle... (4, Informative)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255235)

It may be a better offer if you could include computers from any source, not just dell, right?

They will, as part of a new purchase. That was their old recycling program, and it's still in effect. The new program adds recycling of Dell products at any time.

You have to have *something* to do with Dell before they'll ship your junk for free.

Re:Recycle... (1)

aprilsound (412645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255947)

I've always meant to put up fliers around town: "Such and Such Budget PC Disposal" Hauling fees as low as $4.99! Just to see how many perfectly salvagable boxes I could get.

Re:Recycle... (1)

Scoth (879800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256229)

A friend of mine did just that to try to get some workable computers for a youth center/after school program. Rather than solicit for old PCs, he put up signs offering to dispose of them cheap. He was pretty quickly overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of stuff. Part of his problem was he felt that since he advertised a removal service for-pay, he was obligated to take the stuff whether it was useful specifically to him or not. So, he pretty quickly ended up with roomsful of often-broken equipment all the way back to original PCs, and surprisingly little relatively-modern stuff for the era (1998-1999ish). He played around a bit with 386-era boxes and scaled-back expectations, but he was really trying for passably internet capable machines. In the end, he ended up dumping most of the stuff he got at a loss (since he still had to pay for getting rid of what he couldn't use) and a company replacing their workstations on their typical couple or three year cycle donated the lot once they figured out what he was up to.

If you try this, it may depend on how picky you are with the stuff and how big/busy an area you live in. This was done in a major suburb of Atlanta, GA.

Re:Recycle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16255347)

It is 2x more efficient to reclaim gold in PCs than it is to mine it frome ore out the the ground.

Re:Recycle... (1)

negativerad (985921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255769)

Hopefully this will encourage other multi billion dollar companies to do the samething. Do you like taking care of other peoples sh!t?

Re:Recycle... (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16261873)

It may be a better offer if you could include computers from any source, not just dell, right?

My Wife's computer came with a Dell Printer. The printer came with a return pre-paid shipping label in the box so I could "recycle" my old printer. I set up the new printer, installed the cartridges and connected it. I found the cartridges were about 1/4 the size of the old printer but cost the same. I could not get cartridges at a local store so they had to be directly ordered from Dell + shipping and handeling. To compound matters my old printer is on my LAN serving all my machines from the Linux box, to a ME laptop, to (I still use it due to built in MIDI port) a Windows 95 laptop and a Windows 98 machine. The new printer came with drivers for Windows 2000 and Winows XP and nothing else. Needless to say when it ran out of ink I kept the old printer and recycled the new one.

Yes Sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie... (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254981)

Yes Sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie... It was me that put that post-it note saying "Works fine, Free CRT" on the CRT someone else left on the curb there.

So we'll sing it again [slashdot.org] the next time it comes 'round on the guitar.

Re:Yes Sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie... (1)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255039)

And if 50 people, I say 50 people a day come in recyclin' monitors, they might think it's a movement!

And most of them would be too young to know what a movement is...

This is fantastic news. (2, Interesting)

Future Man 3000 (706329) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254985)

Metal, after oil, is our least renewable resource. Given that computers use more metal than any other consumer product it makes economic sense (or is that cents!) to reclaim it.

Another useful component is the rare-earth magnets that are in hard drives. Those are pricey and certainly outlast the drives they come in.

Size matters (2)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255111)

Wow, man, your mainframe has more metal than your SUV?

Re:Size matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16255197)

They don't call it the 'Big Iron' for nothing...

Re:This is fantastic news. (1)

chgros (690878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255225)

Metal, after oil, is our least renewable resource
It depends which metal you're talking about... Most elements are metals, and they're more or less abundant ("renewable")

Re:This is fantastic news. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255605)

Metal, after oil, is our least renewable resource.

Metal, however, DOESN'T GO ANYWHERE. It can be lost to rust, but that's only a small percentage over a long period of time. 500 years from now, we can mine our junkyards, and get practically all of it back for future use.

Oil, OTOH, is burned, and turned into a completely useless form, that won't turn back into oil for millions of years.

Re:This is fantastic news. (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255781)

"500 years from now, we can mine our junkyards, and get practically all of it back for future use."

Can we?

Maybe they will have invented some amazing process which can sort out the rare but extremely useful metals like copper and tungsten which are probably going to be in extremely high demand but are likely to be distributed in extremely minute quantities all around the earth by our extremely naive civilisation.

Most electronics these days end up in massive municipal landfills, trying to mine them would be like trying to mine a needle in an extremely toxic haystack.

Re:This is fantastic news. (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257221)

Go go gadget nanobots?

Surely we must be able to eventually reach the stage where nanobots could 'disassemble and sort' landfill sites into individual elements for re-use. Maybe not today, maybe not in 20 years, but certainly before we run out of useful trace metals.

Re:This is fantastic news. (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257991)

Sure and maybe they can be used to create flying cars, provide us with "meals in pill form", create artificial gravity in space, enable teleportation, and all the other dreams of the future. "Dreams" is the key word though, for there is currently no direct research (that I know of atleast) that explains how nanobots could do an extremely complex task like sorting out a landfill based on elemental composition. Its all nano-hype.

Re:This is fantastic news. (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16258667)

At one point being able to fly (even in a plane) was a dream. Recording the human voice was damn near witchcraft. The idea that millions of people could be put in touch across a worldwide network didn't even exist, because even getting a letter to the other end of the country took days.

Flying cars - probably not, but could be used to improve efficiency by ensuring proper chemical composition of fuels etc. Meal in pill form - ain't gonna happen because the human body (currently) needs actual substance to feel full. Artificial gravity in space isn't remotely nanobot related unless nanobots are built with some form of propulsion and can be used to 'push' you back to a surface. Teleportation - physics isn't too keen on this bit, and it wouldn't have anything to do with nanobots.

Using them to sort material? We've already got machines which do this, nanobots would just do it on a smaller scale. Probably not at the atomic level, because then you hit all kinds of nasty physical effects, but certainly being able to strip copper tracks off a motherboard isn't unreasonable.

mining junkyards is a fallacy (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256549)

Recycling is all about conserving energy, not materials. By recycling an aluminum can, you're not saving a precious metal, you're saving the energy used to mine ore and seperate it via electrolysis [wikipedia.org].

Elemental metals like aluminum exist all around us (even in our bodies), but are mined from concentrated deposits so that less material will need to be seperated from the desired metal by electrolysis, metling, etc. The energy conservation of recycling aluminum vs. harvesting ore and processing it is approximately 95%.

If you mix your metals with kabillions of tons of garbage, then you exponentially decrease the concentration of metal in your 'ore'. The energy expense required to seperate specific metals from trash makes garbage dump mining an unfeasible prospect.

Throwing aluminum (or computers) in the trash and rationalizing that it'll get recycled 'later' by dump mining is a cop out.

Seth

Re:mining junkyards is a fallacy (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16261647)

First of all, it's called *CONTEXT*... You should try checking it out some time. If you had, you'd notice my comment wasn't dismissing recycling, but dismissing the fool who said metal is a limited resource, like oil.

By recycling an aluminum can, you're not saving a precious metal, you're saving the energy used to mine ore and seperate it via electrolysis.

All of which I know.

The energy expense required to seperate specific metals from trash makes garbage dump mining an unfeasible prospect.

Only true if:

You're assuming current technology won't advanced before we need to get that metal back.

AND

You're doing it ONLY to get the metals out. If there are lots of other (somewhat) valuable material in there (such as using it as fuel to power an electric generator) then extracting the metals becomes nearly-free.

Re:This is fantastic news. (5, Insightful)

NexFlamma (919608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255637)

"Given that computers use more metal than any other consumer product"

You literally pulled this out of your ass, didn't you?

For a while now, we've had these things called "automobiles". They are generally made up of metals of various sorts. They also weigh 1-2 tons a piece. Unless you're referring to all those consumer grade ENIACs you see everywhere, I'm not sure how you think computers consume the most metal of any consumer product.

Re:This is fantastic news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257125)


You literally pulled this out of your ass, didn't you?


you don't quite grasp the meaning of the word 'literally', do you?

Re:This is fantastic news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257539)

Probably meant "Precious metals" as opposed to your more mundane metals.

Re:This is fantastic news. (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259817)

I would like to know what kind of computer you own that has more metal than an automobile? I mean, do you have a bunch of mainframes in your basement or something?

For non-Dells (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16254987)

For those who don't own a Dell, there is Free Geek [freegeek.org]

Re:For non-Dells (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16255053)

In addition to Portland, Free Geek also has locations in Indiana [freegeekmichiana.org], Pennsylvania [freegeekpenn.org], Washington [freegeekolympia.org], Ohio [freegeekcolumbus.org], and Illinois [freegeekchicago.org]

Does it need to be said? (4, Informative)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254993)

Remove hard drive first, nuke it yourself. Only way to be sure.

Re:Does it need to be said? (2, Funny)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255763)

The only truly secure computer is one which is switched off and disconnected from the network. ... and smashed with a sledgehammer, to ensure that the computer is never turned on again. ... and set on fire, to the temperature of 600F, which should be sufficient to destroy the magnetic bits in the hard drive. ... and then nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Re:Does it need to be said? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255819)

Remove hard drive first, nuke it yourself. Only way to be sure.

Only way to make sure that nobody could recover your porn or find out that your mail account's password is "password" even by opening your hard drive and looking for data with a gauss-meter or something of this kind?

Unless you got state secrets on your hard drive and that somebody out there might know it, writing a bunch of 0's once on your hard drive will keep anything you could have on your hard drive safe.

Re:Does it need to be said? (1)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255975)

Remove hard drive first, nuke it yourself. Only way to be sure.

How would I go about obtaining a nuke? Should I start collecting smoke detectors?

I've got a bunch of old hard drives that need the data wiped. Wouldn't it just be simpler to hold it up to a rare-earth magnet [forcefieldmagnets.com]? Would I have to take the cover off?

Just wondering... :)

Recyling PC's (2, Interesting)

PoconoPCDoctor (912001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16254999)

Great idea. On my way to work in Manhattan, I frequently see PC monitors, CPU's, laser printers, etc, on the curb awaiting pickup. AFAIK, NYC does not have a recyling program for these items. They just get added to a landfill in other states. Any program that recycles all the toxic materials found in PC's and related equipment will potentially save the water supply in areas from leachate contamination, as water percolates through landfills. Way to go, Dell! HP better step up the plate!

Re:Recyling PC's (2, Interesting)

setirw (854029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255119)

Sure it has a recycling program: I take them!

I once found a dual PIII Xeon server on the street, with 4gb RAM and 8 10,000 RPM 12gb SCSI drives (wiped, of course). Three 22" ViewSonic flat screen CRTs. A working professional-quality scanner. It is positively ludicrous what New Yorkers throw out.

Re:Recyling PC's (2, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255621)

It is positively ludicrous what New Yorkers throw out.

"Yes officer, that computer was out on the street, just behind that shattered glass window..."

Re:Recyling PC's (1)

PoconoPCDoctor (912001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257195)

Amen Brother! I sometimes wish I had my car with me as I walk past HP laser printers. Sure, probably some can't be repaired, but I know some people who chuck them when they get a message "Replace Drum Kit."

"Me - you are so right. This HP laser printer is a goner. I'll just "recycle it" for you!"

Ummm im gonna need that stuff back. (1)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257339)

"I once found a dual PIII Xeon server on the street, with 4gb RAM and 8 10,000 RPM 12gb SCSI drives (wiped, of course). Three 22" ViewSonic flat screen CRTs. A working professional-quality scanner"

I got hit by a damn taxi waiting for my brother to come by with his truck.

Re:Recyling PC's (4, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255121)

All City agencies, as well as businesses and institutions, are required to recycle computer equipment, unless it is donated or resold for reuse.

The NYC Department of Sanitation has coordinated with private companies and nonprofit organizations to offer electronics recycling events to New York City residents.


http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/recyclin g/electronicsrecycling.shtml [nyc.gov]

Re:Recyling PC's (1)

PoconoPCDoctor (912001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257167)

The link you provided does not seem to mention that the rectcling "events" occur every trash pickup day. While the City sponsored events are laudable, many people or landlords still don't know you can't just put an old PC, monitor, on the street for disposal.

Re:Recyling PC's (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256883)

Finally here in Ireland we are starting to do something other than dump everything. We've implemented the EU WEEE directive, so now there is a charge for every item sold to cover its recycling or waste handling. Also there are now decent modern recycle depots being run by the local councils, where in some places, you can bring just about anything. The city I'm in doesn't have an all-encompassing one though - so the council pay a scrap merchant instead for them to administer it (they have a big free yard). It's kind of odd going there and seeing the big piles of cookers, washing machines, TVs, PCs and monitors.

The local council outside the city has a brand spanking new depot (in the main county town) that cost XX million - you can bring just about anything there, and it costs something like just 4 ($5) for an entire carload!

Oh - and it makes sense for people not to just chuck stuff out, because the local bin services charge people by weight for the ordinary "landfill" bin. Dry recyclables are collected too - but they only take simple stuff like newspaper, cartons, cardboard, glass, plastic bottles.

I don't recollect paying a WEEE charge on the Dell I bought online though. I wonder what the situation is. A bunch of muppets like Amazon couldn't figure things out for a while, and ended up not selling electronics to Ireland *at all* over the Internet for a while. I don't know that it is necessary for them to add the WEEE charge when they are based outside Ireland - but all I really care about is that they are selling here again.

A step in the right direction... (1)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255001)

The is room for improvement I think, but on the bright side I really like the aspect that you don't have to purchase a new Dell to get the service.

That allows people to move away from their Dell product without penalizing the environment for it. Now, it would be great if they offered to pick up non-Dell computers too when you make a purhase and want to get rid of the old stuff. Hopefully more companies will take initiative in this.

Justin
http://hatchedeggs.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:A step in the right direction... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16255229)

Dell DOES pick up non-dell computers when you purchase a dell... just check the option for "free recycling kit" when you purchase your new dell and you will get a airborne tag to use your dell box to ship your old PC back in... :)

It is free on most home systems and $10 up to $40 option with some business systems.

I just used my $40 tag from a server to pack 2 computers, a 14" crt and a ton of old ISA cards all in the Poweredge box.

Re:A step in the right direction... (1, Redundant)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255251)

Now, it would be great if they offered to pick up non-Dell computers too when you make a purhase and want to get rid of the old stuff.

They do. It's part of the old program that has been around a few years. You can still do that. This just adds free recycling of Dell computers with no purchase necessary.

Re:A step in the right direction... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256273)

And.. how exactly would you find yourself needing to recycle a Dell computer without someone having purchased something from Dell?

Re:A step in the right direction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16255565)

Now, it would be great if they offered to pick up non-Dell computers too when you make a purhase and want to get rid of the old stuff.

Maybe it was just a test market kind of thing, but last year I did some holiday work at a Dell Direct Store (Mall Kiosk) and one of the items that we could offer people was free recycling when they bought a new Dell PC. Dell would ship them prepaid shipping boxes, they'd pack up their old PC and Dell would have it taken away for recycling.

When I saw the headline today, I was thinking "So what? They did that a year ago".

I'd take them too... (3, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255033)

You can put almost anything on eBay and turn a profit - if you charge enough in S&H...

"Computer for sale: PII 500MHz - doesn't boot. Buy it Now $25!"

Tell me you can't sell that.

Re:I'd take them too... (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255775)

Laugh all you want. You think this is outrageous? I've been getting what others would declare as "crap" PCs for a long time. 500, maybe 600 MHz celerons, some with memory, some without, none with hard drives. An old employer would just leave them out for anytone to take, rather than pay to have someone haul it all out. I must have sold over 50 of them over the span of a year, giving them a slight refurbish to the point where they are stable, throw Linux on a measly 4 or 6 GB drive that I bought in lots from eBay, and put it back for sale. All of them sold at a profit - even after taking the purchases of memory and used hard drives into account.

Consider also that most 500 MHz motherboards could be upgraded to 733 or 800, depending on the manufacturer. If you had an old 800 MHz CPU around and the 500 on eBay didn't work, $25 is less than taking a faulty PC to a diagnosis center. If the problem was just a bad CPU and you had enough parts around to make diagnosing easy, $25 is a steal.

There's more of a market for 500 MHz systems than you can imagine - even ones that don't boot. Hell, the case alone is probably worth that if you have the parts to build a beefier system laying around.

Re:I'd take them too... (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257281)

Oh, you have no idea how many pc's end up in my possession because they're "broken" and "maybe you could use the parts?". Or...I could just replace the flimsy power supply for 25 Euros and have a fully functional Celeron 1500 with 256MB Ram and a 40 Gig harddrive. Now all I need is one of them switchboards where you can run 4 pc's off of one monitor and keyboard...

Re:I'd take them too... (1)

Neoncow (802085) | more than 7 years ago | (#16261145)

You mean KVMs [newegg.com] right?

They're actually really cheap these days and a great way to flaunt your geek status.

Re:I'd take them too... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255841)

Tell me you can't sell that.

Actually you could sell the PSU alone for that price. I once sold a dead 400W ATX PSU for 20

Is it just lip-service? (5, Informative)

STDOUBT (913577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255249)

Seriously.

*Most* "recycled" electronics in the US end up in trash heaps in China to be picked through by poor people. Gleaned for valuable metals. In these open-air dumps there are no controls on leaching metals into the soil, etc.

There are plenty of more responsible efforts throughout the country some of which are listed here:
http://freegeek.org/recycle.php [freegeek.org]

Does Dell *really* recycle or just dump the stuff someplace that pays them by the ton? And don't be mislead by Greenpeaces' approval. They score based on production toxicity not recycling cleanliness. Granted Dell's doing "something", but my point is we don't actually know where the boxes end up. TFA didn't say.

Re:Is it just lip-service? (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259791)

But that kind of pollution is not like CO2 emmissions, which effect the whole planet. If China and the Chinese are willing to deal with the problem, and we don't want the waste here, why is it a bad solution to ship it off to a dump in China? If we respect Chinese soverienty, and respect the Chinese people as self-determined equals, shouldn't we respect their decisions about the enviornment?

Sure, poor people are picking the stuff over, but the problem is people being poor, not that they are picking over this stuff. If these people are picking over old computers in a garbage dump, it means that it is the best option available to them at this time. Taking away that option, without replacing it with a better option, doesn't do them any favors. If you are trying to force people to abandon their main source of income and economic resource, and you don't have some other economic activity that is equally or more profitable, then you don't really care about those people... it is just arrogant eco-paternalism.

Recycling (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255307)

Funny, I recycle all my old computers. If nobody else will take them, the public schools will, and give me a reciept for a tax writeoff while I am at it.

Re:Recycling (1)

reflector (62643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255481)

many or most schools and nonproftis these days have minimum requirements of what they will take as a donation.

Re:Recycling (1)

mlc (16290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255903)

or at least they ought to... those of us who work for nonprofits can tell stories of the total junk that people donate apparently thinking they're being helpful.

Re:Recycling (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256053)

True, but the first rule is that it works (and all the stuff I donate does) and ask before you donate it. Heck, the last one that went to a school was a 33 mhz 486 over 6 years ago.

The one I donated this year was a 120 mhz laptop that went to a relative that is using it at college.

It all comes down to finding the right home for each machine.

Recycle What? (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255319)

This is great, but the article doesn't say what the user can recycle. PCs, sure, but what about monitors or laptops?

In California, we pay an extra $8 when we purchase a monitor (or laptop) to the state for future landfill services. Then when we dump a CRT monitor it's a $20 fee (not sure about laptops or desktops).

"free" my arse.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255437)

Your average computer has enough gold and silver in it for a recycler to churn a rather high profit melting them down.

I remember seeing shows on it in the late 90's.. the average high end CE device (e.g. computer) can be melted down to produce several grams of gold and several oz of silver.

This of course ignores the huge amount of silicon, plastics, and of course aluminum (aluminum is far cheaper to recycle than to smelt as the only known process involves VAST amounts of electricity) which makes up the rest of the machine.

So yeah.. they pick it up for free, but remember that thing is still worth something, even if only as it's component materials, and you're giving it away to them.

this used to be true (1)

reflector (62643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255593)

yes, this show you watched back in the late 90's, back then it was probably much easier to make a profit in electronics recycling.

back then pentium 1 and pre-pentium 1 boards and cpus had a much higher gold content, but afterwards manufacturers cut back drastically on their use of valuable metals to cut costs.

these days, when most of what a recycler gets is p2 and p3-era machines, and busted monitors (not worth much of anything), they are not as valuable component-wise.

so no, most recyclers do not "churn a high profit" unless they are operating on a HUGE scale, most just get by ok, and do a LOT of work to just get by.

How many PC's actually get recycled anyway (1)

aliscool (597862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255485)

Heres the life cycle of a PC in my household
Buy the PC from Gateway and get the latest and greatest
This Machine is the primary PC for me for the next 18 months.
After that it becomes the secondary PC. It is moved to the guest room.
After a year and a half there it is moved to the garage where it runs MAME in my arcade cabinent.

After a while in the garage it is given to my daughter or my mother where they use it for another two years as their primary PC. After that it goes on the trading post and is sold to someone that needs a 5 year old PC.
By the time the last owner gets it the damn thing is 4 or 5 years old and if I had an agreement to recycle it I have forgotten about it completely and the new owner could care less.
I have to think this is fairly typical.
Where are we going to contact Dell/Gateway and recycle this PC.....?

Re:How many PC's actually get recycled anyway (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256349)

You love your guests more than your daughter that they get a better PC?

Okay... (1)

infosec_spaz (968690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255523)

I think they are just going to take all the internals out, and put them in a new case, and sell a $150 computer!!! Oh, and they will of course farm support for those computers out to freaking North Korea or something...

if near silicon valley, please consider.. (3, Informative)

reflector (62643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255543)

if you are in the silicon valley area, please consider ELMARS.ORG, we offer free electronics recycling (drop off at our Fremont warehouse just off I-880), and also offer free pick-up at your location for medium to large quantities.

we are a non-profit california state-certified e-waste collector (one of the few that are state certified), and will give you a 501 c(3) tax-deductible receipt for all electronics that you give us, as well.
help the environment and help your pocketbook, too :)

see us at www.elmars.org for more info.

thanks!

Re:if near silicon valley, please consider.. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255623)

Couple of questions:

1) Do you simply recondition the equipment and donate it to others, or do you physically break down non-working equipment in an environmentally friendly manner?
2) Is all demanufacturing done locally? Or is some/all of it sent overseas?

Please take these as just curious questions, and in no way a negative light.

-b

Re:if near silicon valley, please consider.. (2, Informative)

reflector (62643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255703)

hi, thanks for the interest.

working hardware or hardware that we can fix up easily (put a new hard drive in, etc) gets either donated or sold to fund our existing operations.

non-working and obsolete stuff gets seperated into components (plastics, steel (cases), circuit boards, wires, etc).

we work with local refineries that will melt down boards and metals, everything is done locally, not overseas.

The swiss situation (1)

tonigonenstein (912347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255589)

From the comments written so far I thought an exposition of the swiss system may be interesting.
For a few years now, whenever you buy a piece of electronics you have to pay a mandatory recycling tax, which the store gives back to a government managed recycling fund. The amount depends on the type of equipment.
Next, every electronics store is required by law to accept any piece of equipment for recycling. You can basically bring your old gear to any store for recycling for free, whether you bought it there or not.
Finally the store will then arrange for a recycling company to take these items. For every item processed, the two companies will receive back the corresponding tax amount from the global fund, which they will share in a law-mandated proportion.
The government only manages the fund. Any recycling company can do the job provided it is certified.
The system works well. For the buyer, it is a lot more convenient to bring his old gear to the next store than to get rid of it any other way. And since you were forced to pay for recycling anyhow, why not do it ? I don't rember the numbers but the percentage of recycled gear is quite high.

Already in place in several Cities (& Californ (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255753)

Some of this recyling program is already in place:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/09/computer_r ecycl.php [treehugger.com]

I've helped to puchase several Dells in the last few years. They have always offered to recycle my old computer for free, regardless of the brand.

They send a shipping label along with the new computer, and you ship it back to them in the same delivery box. Easy as pie, and I'm assuming they have facilities to deal with the extra styrofoam.

This is in California, so perhaps we had this system in place before the other states.

Also offering free laptop incineration... (2, Funny)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16255855)

in partnership with Sony. That's really the solution for E-waste, computers which self-destruct.

Greens on target, yet again... (3, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256101)

After enduring tough criticism over the years from environmental groups, tech companies have started offering more ways for consumers to properly dispose of computer gadgets and to conserve electricity while using computer gear.
Good grief, you'd think they'd go after TV and monitor manufacturers, too. A lot of CRT-based TV's and monitors have a "standby" mode that draws almost as much power as full-on. These things are on all the time, whereas a lot of computers are only on when in-use. I expect a lot more people have TV's than computers, too.

Re:Greens on target, yet again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256359)

I wonder if this has anything to do with environmental groups who pick and choose their causes according to popular opinion, etc.

While nobody wants to be responsible for their PC recycling, if they go after the companies, they don't alienate their individual supporters. It may not be as practical to go after TV manufacturers, esp. for all the old TVs, and if they tried to make consumers accountable, they'd lose public support.

Nope, can't imagine any so-called environmental groups that would think like this... none at all... none of them would be afraid to back down from real environmental issues, however unpopular, instead of taking on more fashionable less-risky environmental issues.

Nope, none at all.

Re:Greens on target, yet again... (1)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257751)

They go after companies because it's much more efficient for a large company to deal with all their old products than for every single individual out there to do so. The company has access to more information than the individual does, it has to discover this information only once instead of requiring every one of their customers to do it, and they can deal with all their products in bulk.

If it raises the prices of these products, good - it will more accurately reflect the true cost of the product up front, rather than later on when it's caused all kinds of problems.

Re:Greens on target, yet again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257975)

Good grief, you'd think they'd go after TV and monitor manufacturers, too.

Do you have any evidence whatsoever that they don't? Or is this yet another SlashDot Certified (tm) Argumentum ad Ignorantiam?

Freecycle too! (1)

Jekler (626699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256499)

I saw mentions of Freegeek so I thought I'd mention Freecycle too. If you don't own a Dell computer (or even if you do) you might want to consider it. I've never participated, but my mother is absolutely fanatical about it. She's given and picked up tons of stuff from participants.

The Freecycle Network [freecycle.org]

Re:Freecycle too! (1)

surgicaltubing (935958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257327)

Freecycle is awesome, not only does it appeal to my pack-rat mentality but i'm also helping keep stuff out of landfill.

Baahhh Recycle just keep using it. (1)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257343)

Im using a 13 year old monitor right now.

What do some people do throw em out when they get dirty ?

EU regulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257613)

The EU demands it anyways. *ALL* electronics sellers in the Europe are required to take back all the old hardware for free and recycle it. If they won't they will be slapped with heavy fines, per case. Furthermore, it applies to the old hardware sold before the new regulations as well!

This "offer" is THE LAW in Europe. (1)

hammarlund (568027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257635)

"The no-charge home pickup program was announced in June. Dell already offers similar programs in Europe and Canada."

The kind "offer" of Dell's is actually required by law in Europe, and has been since August 2005. The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) legislation came into effect prior to RoHS. One part of this Directive is that any product containing any of six banned substances (lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)), must be collected and returned to the manufacturer, or his agent, for proper disposal. Similar legislation is coming into effect in a few US states soon, as well as to Japan, China and others.

Thank you Dell, for offering to comply with the law.

Recycle? NOT - destroy, i.e. remove used market (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 7 years ago | (#16260231)

Destroy the old computers, and it's a lot more likely people will buy new ones instead of using an old one if they can.

This is marketing doublespeak. What they are doing is removing the reused-computer, the used market.

They grind the machine, recycle only the plastic and copper. As an LTSP or Citrix terminal or older word-processing box, it could be used for a long time - 100% recycled.

I live in Brazil nowadays, and people _still_ pay US$200 for a used pentium 3 in used-pc stores - monitor not included. Why? Because it's still $200 less than a new P4. And there are very few used machines on the market, so the used price is high. I myself *BUY* old P2 machines to use as LTSP terminals here, no hard disk or cdrom, for about $50. No monitor.

There are stores full of techies who repair old Pentium motherboards, old CDRom drives, all kinds of old junk I used to pick up from the street in New York.

And this is Sao Paulo, Brazil - rather developed actually - not even Africa, or Bangladesh.

You can *still* export all these old, used machines to a whole lot of poorer countries - and sell at destination at a small profit, too.

Why not?

Because regulations of some old international commerce agreement don't allow exporting old junk from first-world countries to poor countries, converting "old garbage" parts into "used market" parts which compete with new parts.

So old cars, motorcycles, computers, farm equipment, etc from US-Japan-Europe junkyards can't be exported, to provide parts for low-labor-cost areas where these things can be repaired and reused.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...