On Slashdot recent, Dell Offers Curbside Computer Recycling.

So I fired off an email to a friend, who sent it to a friend who is involved in organizing Dell takeback campaigns at universities.

The response:

Hell no, we didn’t win (yet)…but it’s a first step.

Problems with program:

  • Dell still contracting with prison labor to do recycling…prison labor is a low-road solution which relies on “high tech chain gangs” and thwarts the development of a legitimate recycling infrastructure…..and prison laborers are handling toxic computers and OSHA standards are not enforced as they should be
  • Dell still charging a fee at the back-end (instead of implicit in purchase price) for the pick-up, which is a disincentive for participation
  • Dell not reporting on goals or setting timeframes/goals for recovery
  • Dell not aggressively advertising program (they launched the program the week we went to war!)
  • Dell not commenting/committing to phasing out the toxins in their products
  • Dell partnering with a charity, but what will eventually happens to the computers?–they way they are designed now they all become obsolete at some point
  • Dell has recovered only 1,000 machines in the last six months which is really pathetic. (they actually started taking back computers from consumers in sept, but are just now expanding the program to include home pick-up)

Seems like there should be a joke in there with the “Dude, you’re getting a cell!” meme. Would love to see a joint press release response by Clean Water Action and our friends the super responsible computer recyclers ACCRC.