Apple made two announcements in the spirit of this weekend's Earth Day. The first is an expansion of its computer recycling program, offering free computer take-back and recycling with the purchase of a new Macintosh beginning in June. If you purchase a new Mac in the U.S. from the Apple Store or Apple's retail stores you'll be eligible to receive free shipping and environmentally friendly disposal of your old computer. According to Apple, equipment received by the program in the U.S. is recycled domestically and no hazardous material is shipped overseas. Earlier this week, Apple was named a "Forward Green Leader," one of the top ten environmentally progressive companies recognized by the Sierra Club and its investment advisor, Forward Management. According to Trash that PC in an eco-friendly way by Tom Krazit:
HP operates its own recycling plants with Noranda Recycling--two in the U.S. and one in Germany--that break down hazardous materials into their base elements. HP charges between $13 and $34 depending on the item. For example, an inkjet printer costs $17, while a PC costs $21. The company is currently giving coupons for its recycling program upon the purchase of new HP hardware.
Tom also notes that CNET Networks (publisher of this blog) runs a program that accepts used electronic equipment. CNET will pay you for your old tech goods and donates a portion of the trade-in value to the school of your choice. The products are refurbished for resale if possible, otherwise they are recycled. Dell allows you to recycle your unwanted PC or computer electronics for a flat fee per item. Like Apple, if you buy a new Dell desktop or notebook and select the free recycling option at the time of purchase, they will recycle your old PC and monitor at no for a limited time. HP's Product Return & Recycling program also provides an easy way to recycle computer equipment and printing supplies charging $13 to $34 which it says is just enough to cover costs. My experience has been that most people keep working Macs in the family. They're rarely ever thrown out. Most Mac users have a network of family and friends that they sell and give their old Macs to and provide lifetime support as a result. I think that more PCs than Macs are probably junked per capita because a) they more easily get corrupted beyond repair because of the overwhelming number of viruses and malware that's out there for Windows, and b) you can more cheaply replace a PC than you can a Mac.