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Gateway to recycle corporate PCs

The company introduces a recycling program aimed at corporations, offering to haul away old PCs, delete data from hard drives and give credit toward future hardware purchases.

Gateway on Monday introduced a recycling program aimed at corporations, offering to haul away old PCs, delete data from hard drives and give credit toward future hardware purchases.

As part of its Gateway Asset Recovery Services program, the Poway, Calif.-based company said it will break down machines from any manufacturer and recycle them in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines.

The service will also scrub hard drives clean to protect the businesses' confidential data. Completely erasing all data is an expensive and time-consuming step that often forces businesses to simply choose to hold on to old machines.

The electronic industry has been increasingly pressured by environmentalists and others to take greater responsibility for how spent machines are disposed of. Computer makers--always enticing customers to upgrade to faster systems--have been compelled to find ways to recycle the old machines that, until recent years, wound up in the garbage heap. According to Environmental Protection Agency figures cited by Gateway, computers and other electronic equipment account for about 220 million tons of waste per year in the United States.

Gateway's corporate recycling program is one of many now offered by top computer makers like Dell Computer, IBM and Hewlett-Packard. For Gateway, the new corporate program is the latest effort to transform itself from a traditional PC maker to a provider of various technology services. Gateway has offered a PC recycling program for consumers since 2000.

Gateway said it will charge $30 per unit for the recycling program. The fee includes the pickup, transportation, erasure and disposal of obsolete systems. The credit applied toward the purchase of new equipment will be calculated separately. The amount of cash or credit, Gateway said, will depend on the condition of the equipment and whether it can be refurbished and resold.

"There are more important things for organizations to worry about than what to do with their old and outdated hardware," Jim Jones, Gateway's vice president of services, said in a statement.