Dell’s Sustainability Initiatives (Recycling Computer Equipment)

While this panel wasn’t as interactive as the other ones we attended during our very long day at Dell headquarters, it was definitely good information for me to pass along to my readers.  I’ve been a huge Dell fan for a long time, and really I had never even heard about this!  They definitely need to get the word out about what they are doing to reduce their footprint, and I’m going to help them do just that today.

The first thing that I didn’t realize is that you can turn in any product with a Dell a label on it for FREE!  You can either drop it off at any Staples in the US, drop it off at a Goodwill Reconnect location, or you can even have FedEx come and pick it upright at your house!  Really, they couldn’t make getting your old computer equipment recycled any easier!  You don’t even have to go anywhere!  They do this for FREE for any piece of equipment with a Dell logo on it.  Also, they will recycle competitors equipment with the purchase of a new Dell computer!  If you use the Goodwill route “Your donation helps provide technology, education, training and career services to people facing economic challenges. It’s a free, convenient and tax-deductible way of decluttering your home office while helping others.”

They also showed us some new and innovative ways they are re-using the electronic waste.  They showed us a brick of this plastic type material, that looks nice enough for someone’s yard.  It was made out of old printer catridges!

One of the reasons you should recycle with Dell is the process they use in recycling…

1) Can the whole system be re-used?  First they determine if the entire system is usable, and if so they help the community by donating those systems through Goodwill to people or organizations that need them.  Or they may even be able to sell the system in the Dell Outlet.

2) Can the system be repaired?  They then determine if the system just needs to be refurbished, and then it can be used or donated.

3) Can parts of the system be re-used?  If they find that the entire system doesn’t work well enough to be re-used, they determine some of the parts in the system can be refurbished and put together to make a system that can be donated through Goodwill.

4) If nothing in the system is reusable then they dispose of it.

Dell’s disposal process does NOT include exporting it to other countries!  A quote from their website:

“You have probably learned of the news about how computers and electronic equipment are sometimes exported to developing countries for disposal. This unregulated disposal can create environmental, health and safety issues for people in areas like China, India and Africa.

In 2009, Dell was the first in the industry to ban the export of nonworking electronics or electronic waste (e-waste) to developing countries to help prevent these issues. Our policy goes further than the Basel Convention requirements governing electronic disposal. We expanded our definition of e-waste to include all nonworking parts or devices — so prior to export, we require that all equipment is tested and certified as working. By doing so, we help prevent unauthorized e-waste dumping in developing countries.

Make the responsible choice and recycle through one of our programs to help fight e-waste exportation.”

Also in this disposal process they are continually trying to find ways to create usable materials from the electronic waste.

I was definitely impressed with Dell’s sustainability efforts.  Even though it definitely COSTS the company money to meet and exceed the standards to “keep the earth healthy” as my daughter would say.  Kudos to Dell for being a leader in this arena, and putting the importance on it that it deserves.  If more companies acted as Dell does in these efforts then the future we see in the movie Wall-E will only exist in cartoons.

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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