Dell, Microsoft Team Up to Expand Electronics Recycling Program

ROUND ROCK, TX — Tied to last week's Earth Day celebrations, Dell and Microsoft announced a new partnership that will add Microsoft's hardware systems to the electronics accepted at Goodwill locations around the U.S. and Canada.

The partnership expands Dell's Reconnect recycling program, which lets customers drop off computer hardware -- including monitors, computers, printers and all types of accessors -- for free recycling at any of the more than 1,900 Goodwill stores across North America.

But until now, the program has not accepted any type of gaming equipment, and according to Tim McDowd, Microsoft's Senior Manager of Environmental Sustainability, it can help reduce the mountains of potential e-waste that might otherwise go to landfills.

"We're pleased that we can announce to the public that we want you to recycle the equipment and use Goodwill as their recycling option," Beth Johnson, Dell's Program Manager for Producer Responsibility in the Americas, said in a phone interview.

"We've sold approximately 39 million Xbox consoles since 2005," McDowd added, "and having that scale of infrastructure in place is an easy way to make recycling old equipment an easy sell for consumers."

In addition to making it easier for more people to recycle more of their unwanted and potentially toxic electronics, the expansion of the Reconnect partnership also means fewer exports of e-waste overseas, where they are often recycled in unhealthy and polluting ways.

The Reconnect partnership complies with Dell's recycling policy, announced last year, that says that any non-functioning electronics won't be exported and will instead be recycled domestically.

Although Dell has not yet signed on with the recently launched e-Stewards recycling initiative, the company has long supported efforts to make electronics manufacturers take care of their own e-waste.

"We believe that as a producer of this equipment, we have the responsibility to have free recycling options for our customers," Johnson said. "We're in favor of any legislation that supports individual producer responsibility."

More information about how to recycled electronics, including Microsoft hardware, is online at ReconnectPartnership.com.