I've been reading IBM's latest corporate social responsibility report this week in my "spare time." Just wanted to share this fact related to the company's Global Asset Recovery Services, which handles the takeback of commercial products in 57 different countries.
In 2008, IBM processed an estimated 42,302 metric tons of electronics waste. Of that amount, it was able to recycle or reuse 96.9 percent; only 0.6 percent was sent to landfills or incinerators. Here's a more exact breakdown of where the stuff went:
- 31.4 percent = sold for reuse
- 54.4 percent = recycled
- 7.1 percent = reused
- 4 percent = used for waste to energy conversion
- 0.2 percent = landfilled
- 0.4 percent = incinerated
- 2.5 percent = in process
IBM has collected and recovered a documented 1.6 billion pounds of products and e-waste between 1995 (when it started tracking this stuff) and the end of last year.
For perspective, Hewlett-Packard started its own recycling services in 1987. Since it began tracking this sort of thing, the company has taken in more than 1 billion pounds of castoff technology. It expects to reach its next goal of taking in 2 billion pounds of e-stuff by next year.