Computer recycling set to triple

Dell has collected 72.65 tonnes of computer equipment for recycling in the past 12 months and plans to triple this figure by 2009.

The estimates were released at the first two of four community recycling events held in Sydney and Brisbane.

The company began a national recycling program in December 2004.

The events extracted 20 tonnes of equipment; part of a global 250 tons recycled over the last two years via more than 50 recycling events.

Dell A/NZ managing director Joe Kremer said that by offering the free recycling service, the company hoped to set an example.

"Industry, retailers, government and consumers all have a role to play in reducing e-waste and we have actively supported the move towards a national recycling scheme led by the Australian Information Industry Association," he said.

"We are also continually looking for ways to make it easier and more affordable for people to dispose of their old computers because PCs contain materials like metal, glass and plastic which can and should be recycled and reused."

The Brisbane event, held in conjunction with the Griffith University EcoCentre, offered disposal of all computers or accessories for free recycling. Out of the 10 tonnes collected Dell found 331 monitors, 287 desktops, 155 printers and 12 notebooks.

Computers older than three years old that cannot be resold are sent to government approved recycling facilities, which prevent 90 percent of product going to landfill.

Any scrap material to be exported for "more efficient disposal" is processed to remove hazardous and toxic material to ensure compliance with government and international conventions.

Griffith University electronic waste expert Sunil Heart said there are more than nine million computers in use around Australia, and this year a further 2.1 million computers will enter the market, while more than three million are expected to become obsolete.

"With that amount of computers becoming redundant, it is important that electronic equipment is recycled or reused wherever possible," he said. Dell will hold two more events in Melbourne and Wellington later this year.

For more information on Dell's recycling options visit: www.dell.com.au/recycle.

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