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Dell trumps Apple in recycling report card

updated 08:45 am EDT, Fri October 22, 2010

Dell scores higher than Apple in recycling study

Dell provided a surprise today by beating green advocate Apple in a report card for electronics recycling from the Electronics TakeBack Coalition. The Texas PC builder earned the highest grade, B, as it not only took back every product through the mail for free but had a widening network that included Goodwill and Staples. It also had the highest volumes and tried hard even in US states where requirements were loose.

The company also made it a point to encourage donating older systems for reuse and made it clear the company wouldn't export to developing countries where the PCs would end up in scrap heaps. Most of the issues surrounding Dell were over the inability to audit what it promised, since the companies it uses have been kept secret.

Apple's emphasis on recyclable materials hasn't extended to its return programs, the ETC said. Its mailback program wasn't as broad, and it wasn't as thorough in most areas in reporting its effectiveness or which firms it was using to recycle or pass along old computers and devices.

No companies scored an A grade for their programs, but most computer manufacturers save for ASUS, LG and Samsung scored lower than Apple and Dell. General electronics and printer makers usually fared the worst, with Canon, Hitachi, JVC and others getting failing grades. Console makers like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony received D- and D scores.

Takebacks don't represent the full ecosystem, although Dell has scored high elsewhere. Critics including Greenpeace have chastised Dell, however, for relying too heavily on toxic or unrecyclable products where Apple was one of the most active in improving the engineering side of its environmental efforts. Most eco-friendly Dell systems have been incidental or one-off models, such as the Studio Hybrid's bamboo option (pictured here).



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. facebook_Sean

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010

    -1

    the Threat of Dell getting sued to pushes recyclin

    Dell is getting sued for the manufacture of imperfect computers related to the transistor issues the whole industry experienced. They knew it was a problem several years ago. What they did was to set up a "recycling" program designed to remove the faulty computers from the field, so when they got hit with the class action, everyone cleared them off their shelves already and since you don't have the faulty product any longer, you can't prove it was faulty.







  1. tsmelker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    Duh

    This is kinda a no-brainer, especially since Dells have a shorter life-span and therefore get recycled more often than Macs...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Re: Duh

    No, Dells last just as long as Macs or any other computer... It's just that, in 5 years, someone can easily buy a new computer that's much faster than their five-year old Dell for less money than it would take to upgrade the PC, where Macs cost more, so upgrading them is actually cost effective.

    And, of course, a lot of people keep old Macs around to use because they have older software that won't work on later versions of the OS. So, if you have an app that requires 10.4, say, you can't use a new Mac to run that OS. You have to use an old Mac.

  1. shuji_nyc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010

    0

    Good Will and DELL

    DELL should be careful with this Reconnect relationship. They are essentially using "low functioning" labor to collect e-waste and store in their facilities. Goodwill workers should not be made to handle hazardous materials. I have toured Goodwill's Astoria Queens facility as well as their Jersey City location and was shocked by the workers who were handling e-waste. I am interested to know the "agreement" between DELL and Goodwill I have been told (by GW insiders), although I cannot verify it is very much favors the computer giant.

    I also do not see where DELL encourages refurbishment of its units. DELL, like all OEMS's are under intense pressure from shareholders to come out with new models quarterly. I am not saying Apple is better, it is not, but lets not kid ourselves in one company has a better system then another. Mail me your stuff is not a viable solution.

    Apple like DELL needs to implement a door-to-door collection system not drop offs or mail backs as they have proposed, and they should be mandated in the future to build longer lasting machines that make use of less materials and materials that are "safer".

  1. shuji_nyc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010

    0

    Good Will and DELL

    DELL should be careful with this Reconnect relationship. They are essentially using "low functioning" labor to collect e-waste and store in their facilities. Goodwill workers should not be made to handle hazardous materials. I have toured Goodwill's Astoria Queens facility as well as their Jersey City location and was shocked by the workers who were handling e-waste. I am interested to know the "agreement" between DELL and Goodwill I have been told (by GW insiders), although I cannot verify it is very much favors the computer giant.

    I also do not see where DELL encourages refurbishment of its units. DELL, like all OEMS's are under intense pressure from shareholders to come out with new models quarterly. I am not saying Apple is better, it is not, but lets not kid ourselves in one company has a better system then another. Mail me your stuff is not a viable solution.

    Apple like DELL needs to implement a door-to-door collection system not drop offs or mail backs as they have proposed, and they should be mandated in the future to build longer lasting machines that make use of less materials and materials that are "safer".

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