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posted by martyb on Thursday September 23 2021, @01:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the e-waste-recycling dept.

You might be sitting on a mountain of e-waste that Dell wants to recycle for you:

If you're anything like me, you struggle to let go of your old electronics. Be that a mobile phone, laptop, or even an old graphics card plagued by electromigration and capable of a frame a minute—there's something about the act of disposing of it that feels inherently wasteful. Yet it's no less wasteful of me to keep my long redundant technology stored in a cardboard box at the back of my closet.

Hence when I spotted a tweet from Dell promising to recycle my old electronics— whether manufactured by Dell or not—it caught my attention. Will the company actually take my old tech from me and do something productive with it?

To gather some more information, I reached out to the company. Because it's one thing to recycle your own product, it's a whole other to deal with somebody else's trash, for lack of a better word.

And as I would find out from Page Motes, Dell's head of sustainability, the company doesn't see it that way.

[...] Dell sees that e-waste instead as an opportunity to create closed-loop supply for certain materials.

Plastics are something the company has been recycling for some time now, using 100 million pounds of the stuff to make new parts for Dell systems, but more recently it's also begun leveraging rare earth magnets from old, disused hard drives alongside manufacturer Seagate.

Furthermore, I'm told Dell is now reusing aluminium from the old drives, and this closed-loop aluminium has since found its way into the Optiplex lineup, a range of commercial PCs that probably aren't all that familiar to PC gamers but relies on recycled materials for a large part of its construction. Something it'd be great to see make its way into more discrete PC gaming components, that's for sure.

Dell is first to admit it benefits from the program, and it also hopes that might tempt other companies to follow in its footsteps. Motes explains that it's well-aware this is not something that can be done alone, and that it'll need wider support for recycling programs to really deal with the e-waste generated every year that is, for the most part, not recycled or reused.

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  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Thursday September 23 2021, @08:03PM (4 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday September 23 2021, @08:03PM (#1180846) Journal

    Pfft, the idiots have been going the opposite direction. You pay to get rid of your trash! Those big box office stores such as Staples, they'll take your old electronics, for a price. They do it in a weasely way so they can claim it is free. Essentially, they insist you buy yourself a gift card.

    One item I've had a lot of trouble dumping is tube monitors and TVs. I didn't get rid of them all right away when the flat screens took over, and in a few years, recycling centers all stopped accepting tubes. It hurts to put an obsolete but in-perfect-working-order screen in the trash, but that's the easiest way.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23 2021, @11:11PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23 2021, @11:11PM (#1180918)

    People pay good money for tube monitors and TVs now. If they are in good working order and a good size, you can easily make a couple hundred on them.

    • (Score: 2) by toddestan on Thursday September 23 2021, @11:35PM (2 children)

      by toddestan (4982) on Thursday September 23 2021, @11:35PM (#1180920)

      I don't know how true that is. I've certainly seen stories, but I find it hard to believe that the tube monitors and CRTs that everyone was trashing just a few years back are now worth significant money. I can see people paying something for the top-quality gear, but the cheap and nasty tubes from 25 years ago are still cheap and nasty tubes today. If people are really paying money for that stuff, I kind of have to assume they aren't old enough to remember having to actually use that stuff years ago.

      Though I do have some Sony Trinitron monitors sitting in a closet that I'm not using, probably will never use again, and only have them because I couldn't just toss them out. Perhaps now is the time to try to get rid of them.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @03:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @03:34AM (#1181000)

        At the very least, hardware hackers will be interested. Decent phosphors and tubes are not so easy to get nowadays. Maybe you can drop them at a makerspace for people to scavenge?

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @05:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @05:15AM (#1181018)

        You underestimate the amount of money people are willing to put into their hobbies and the rise of retro-computing/retro-gaming as a hobby. In addition, the fact that they are wearing out and becoming rare shifts the equilibrium point on the supply/demand curve even further towards higher prices. Sony Trinitron in particular is very sought after for their high quality. Even trash ones can be valuable enough as parts. Check the comps on eBay, FB Marketplace, or your favorite used items sites and I bet you will be surprised. There are a number of communities and groups on various social media that you can find that would snap those right up. But like I said, there is demand for a lot of CRTs that many people underestimate.