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 user 2005-04-27 at 10:35:00 am Views: 58
  • #9144
    Tech giants boost recycling efforts
    and Hewlett-Packard cut fees for their recycling programs this week, in advance
    of Friday’s Earth Day observance.

    Technology companies have come under growing pressure in the past few years
    to address the growing mounds of dangerous waste created by outdated computer
    hardware. Gear such as monitors and circuit boards are full of hazardous
    chemicals that can leach into the soil and groundwater if dumped into landfills.
    Groups such as the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative have
    successfully pushed computer makers to responsibly recycle more and more of
    their obsolete goods.

    HP announced on Thursday that it was temporarily cutting in half the fees it
    charges customers to recycle old computer hardware. The promotion runs though
    May 31 and works in conjunction with a rebate program that gives customers as
    much as $50 off the price of new HP equipment if they recycle old gear through
    the company.

    HP launched its recycling program for consumers several years ago, charging
    customers fees ranging from $17 to $46 to dispose of items such as monitors and
    printers. The company also has a free recycling program for printer supplies
    such as ink and toner cartridges.

    HP said in a statement that it recycled 120 million pounds of used computer
    hardware and printer cartridges in 2004, boosting its total since 1987 to 616
    million pounds. The company aims to have recycled a billion pounds of waste by
    the end of 2007.

    Also Thursday, Dell cut prices for PC recycling for consumers and businesses.

    The PC maker said that for a limited time it will pick up certain systems
    from large corporate customers for free. The offer applies to lots of 100 or
    more, and PCs have to be of fairly recent vintage–a Pentium III processor or
    higher for desktops, Pentium II for notebooks.

    Dell has also indefinitely dropped recycling prices for consumers. The
    company is now charging $10 to ship a PC to Dell for recycling; previously, the
    PC maker charged $15. The company continues to offer free recycling of old
    equipment for customers who purchase a replacement desktop or notebook

    Dell was the first major PC maker to subject its recycling program to public
    scrutiny, using the weight of goods recycled to measure its effectiveness in
    keeping old gear out of landfills.

    Friday will mark the 35th celebration of Earth Day, which was founded by U.S.
    Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Earth Day Network, the organization formed in
    1970 to promote the then-new event, is coordinating Earth Day activities in 174
    countries this year, the group says on its Web site.