HP bolsters Earth Day recycle offer

The PC maker sweetens the incentive to recycle PCs and computer gear in April by doubling the store credit it gives to users of its recycling service.

John G. Spooner Staff Writer, CNET News.com
John Spooner
covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.
John G. Spooner
3 min read
With Earth Day in mind, Hewlett-Packard has increased its incentive to recycle computer gear using its service in April.

HP is doubling the credit it gives toward the purchase of a new product from its e-commerce Web site. People in the United States who use its online recycling service between April 1 and April 30 will receive up to a $100 credit.

Earth Day, an annual holiday that encourages people to help the environment by taking actions such as recycling and using less energy, is April 22.

"Earth Day provides us with a unique opportunity to offer our customers an additional incentive to recycle their used or unwanted computer equipment," Walt Rosenberg, HP's vice president of corporate, social and environmental responsibility, said in a statement.

Other PC makers, including Dell, also offer recycling programs. Such services allow people to send their aged computers and computer accessories, of any make, for a fee. This keeps more hardware out of landfills, companies have said. In general, large PC manufacturers have become more involved in recycling of late, thanks in part to environmental advocates and legislators.

HP typically charges between $17 and $46 for its recycling services, depending on the product, it said in a statement. Under its special offer, the company will arrange pickup at a person's home and mail the HPshopping.com coupon.

Dell's offer
Dell is also touting a special recycling offer that's not tied to Earth Day. The company will recycle up to three items, weighing up to a total of 50 pounds, for $5. It normally charges $15 per 50 pounds. The special offer, which the Dell Recycling Web site says will be available for a limited time, also includes a coupon for a 10 percent discount on a purchase from its Software & Peripherals Web site.

Dell estimates that combined, a typical desktop PC and cathode ray tube monitor weigh about 72 pounds, which would cost $10 to recycle under the special offer. HP's Web site quotes a cost of $46 to dispose of the same combination.

HP and Dell say computer hardware recycling services are also important to businesses and institutions, because they typically have far more PCs than the average household in the United States.

Indeed, a recent Gartner study pegged the cost of disposing of an older PC at between $85 and $136. Such fees could add up quickly for a company with thousands of PCs.

Recycling services recently helped Dell land a contract with the U.S. government's Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA could lease as many as 100,000 new computers from Dell, which will also dispose of the machines at the end of their life cycle. Contract terms were not released.

HP and Dell also offer recycling programs for printers and printer cartridges.

The two companies collectively shipped about 51 million PCs, or about a third of the world's PC shipments of 154.5 million units, in 2003, according to HP.

HP recycles more than 6 million pounds of computer equipment globally each month, the company said in a statement.