Shareholder Group Pushes Computer Recycling

April 8, 2003 ( - A shareholder group plans to leverage its success with Dell Computer Corp. in committing to a computer-recycling program to help convince other computer makers to do the same.

The group, led by Calvert Group, Ltd. and the As You Sow Foundation, announced that Dell recycling agreement Tuesday. Calvert, As You Sow, Green Century Capital Management, and Walden Asset Management also announced that they intend to seek similar commitments from others in the industry including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM.

Dell committed to setting global performance goals and developing a measurement system for its global product-recycling program by March 2004.

The Dell commitment includes:

  • reporting quantitative recycling goals for desktop and portable equipment by March 2004
  • establishing a system to track and publicly disclose what happens to Dell computer components when they are taken back by Dell, managed as waste (e.g., land filled, reused, incinerated, etc.), or recycled by Dell’s recycling vendors
  • continuing to verify that its recycling vendors adhere to the no-export clause, prohibiting the export of waste to developing countries
  • publicly reaffirming that Dell’s US recycling vendors are complying with health and safety standards equivalent to US Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

According to the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition as cited in the recycling effort announcement, Americans will discard 500 million computers between 1997-2007, and currently only about 10% of old computers are recycled.