Mammoth computer manufacturer Dell today fired a healthy salvo at critics’ complaints its products contain significant amounts of hazardous materials and chemicals hazardous to health and the environment: the company has announced it plans to offer recycling for any Dell-branded product to any customer, anywhere in the world, for free. The new program is currently operational iin Europe, is scheduled to launch in the U.S. in September, and should be available globally by November 2006.
“We have a responsibility to our customers to recycle the products we make and sell,” said Michael Dell, chairman of Dell. “Our direct relationships with consumers allow us to offer this easy and free service and we encourage others in our industry to do so as well.”
Dell currently offers no-charge recycling of any computer or printer with the purchase of a new Dell system, complete with free home-pickup. However, the new policy will be more expansive: Dell will provide no-charge recycling of any Dell-branded product without requiring any sort of purchase.
Dell has been trying to raise its environmental-friendly profile, and has posted a good deal of information about its recycling efforts and new program on its Web site, details on the eventual fate of recycled goods are scant. Environmental and human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns over computer and electronic waste being shipped overseas for recycling and disposal in facilities which expose workers and area residents to significant levels of hazardous materials. In fairness, this waste originates with essentially every manufacturer