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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, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23 2021, @09:15PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23 2021, @09:15PM (#1180874)

    As a successful user of Pentium 4-line computer (for editing, office, simple programming, graphics and storage management) and 2007 Core (this first Core, power-hungry one) notebook I can see the objective here.
    Te thing is that I don't do AI, I don't do gaming, I don't need HD video as I don't have suitable display. And when I do computations, I connect to a 128-core workhorse which even has no video card and everything goes through ssh.
    Dell machine with Intel ME deactivated (not erased! There is a bring-up and initial programming done!) costs 4-5 times the machine with this USA spyware, and is not in open market - you usually stumble upon them when going thru after-leasing stuff or second-hand after some ministries or services. Otherwise it is not possible to get a secure machine.
    This just leads to placing users in a situation when they already have government spyware and it is widely used.
    So I will still clean this stuff every few months, the only difference is that now I have Linux which looks awful, when before I had Cygwin under WinXP which looked awful too.
    Smaller number of working pre-ME machines is the objective for both manufacturers and government, so let's not help them too much.

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  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday September 23 2021, @11:01PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 23 2021, @11:01PM (#1180916) Homepage Journal

    Purism laptops have the Intel ME disabled, too.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @09:53AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @09:53AM (#1181074)

    So you live in Mom's basement and don't pay electricity bills?

    You'd save shitloads of $ annually by switching out that Pentium 4 for anything newer.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @08:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24 2021, @08:59PM (#1181236)

      This is not a problem if proper software is used. These chips do have scaling! If You want things which eat power, better example will be late Athlon/Opteron/Phenom series, I used Turion for some time and this was a heater. And many modern configurations eat power because OS has to show cute gradients, 3D rubber windows or mine crypto using JS with web "applications" better called "running untrusted code on your machine".
        - Use a good power supply unit. Many "high-efficiency" units have their efficiency go really low when they are under heavy load, or if they are not loaded sufficiently. The "sweet spot" with nice efficiency is really narrow. Unfortunately I just had to measure through various units to find a good one and it's not a fast measure.
        - If you don't do graphics, don't waste power for it. In Linux, GMA950 works suddenly well if no GPU-intensive shell is used. It can even do some CAD.
        - Notebook with docking station uses much less power than a full-featured desktop and if a good one is used, you get very similar expansion capabilities plus portability. I totally switched to this configuration some time ago.
      I was thinking about switching to "much faster" RPi until I found that its disk I/O is unbearably slow, and clones "with SATA" have USB-SATA bridge or, even more awful, poor GPIO implementation locked in proprietary kernel module. These devices are great as small, embedded systems with nonvolatile memory rarely used, but really poor at work.