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Dell: Doing the right thing

Everyone's jumping on the environmental sustainability bus. Yay!

Recycling is the in thing amongst corporations.

Dell's on the way to reaching its goal of recovering 125 million kilograms of computer equipment by 2009, having already added 35 million kilograms to the total in 2006.

It expects to hit the one billion pound (454.55 million kilograms) mark in about half the time it took HP -- although to be fair to HP, the environment for recycling and environmental concern is much friendlier today than when HP started its campaign.

Michael Dell, CEO, laid down the challenge to competitors. "Protecting the environment is too important an issue for one company to be leading alone. Customers should not be forced into improper disposal due to a lack of environmentally responsible options.

To that end, we are renewing our challenge to every computer manufacturer, regardless of size and location, to join us in offering a free, global consumer recycling program."

This isn't an empty challenge either -- Dell has a complex plan laid out for exactly how it intends to tackle environmental sustainability, including eliminating unwanted materials from its products, reducing manufacturing emissions, cutting down on transport requirements, using smarter power management, minimising its packaging, using recycled materials for advertising and offering facilities that can recycle or re-use 99 percent of collected waste by 2012. A full report is available here.

In Australia Dell offers consumers a good range of options. If you own a Dell PC that it's time to get rid of, it offers pick up and recycling for free. Dell will also recycle your old competing brand PC for free if you upgrade to a new Dell computer.

If you don't fall into either of these categories but are still environmentally conscious, you can use Dell's recycling service for around AU$36 for a desktop or AU$23 for a notebook, and it'll send a courier to pick it up. If it can be resold, this value is given back to the consumer. We'd recommend anyone looking to get rid of old equipment take a look at this excellent offering.

Locally Dell has recovered 300 tonnes of equipment in the last year, and are looking to improve it. Internationally, as part of its Ideastorm project, Dell is inviting ideas about how it can contribute back to the environment -- so get involved!

Now if only Dell had control of the car industry ... the air might be a little easier to breathe.