Thursday, February 12, 2009

Computer Recycling Program Launched by Dell & Goodwill

Arkansas is one of six states being added to a computer recycling program. Reconnect" is a joint effort of computer maker Dell and Goodwill Industries.

The free drop-off program for consumers who want to responsibly recycle any brand of unwanted computer equipment was announced in Little Rock today.

“The program is another great example of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas’ triple bottom line, of people, planet, and profit,” said Brian Itzkowitz, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. “By finding environmentally safe options for the end of life of computers and computer equipment, Goodwill is demonstrating its 82 year history in Arkansas of recycling initiatives that keep products out of landfills. More importantly, with the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in Arkansas over 50 percent, the program offers work activity to our participants with disabilities who would not have a job without Goodwill. The revenue generated by the program helps fund our job training programs and employment that helped 1,300 people in 2008; and, 267 in January 2009 alone.”

Today’s announcement brings the total number of participating Goodwill retail stores to more than 1,000 nationwide. In keeping with its mission of job creation, Goodwill plans to hire additional staff to oversee the expanded recycling program.

“Today we’re making it even easier for environmentally-conscious customers to do the right thing,” said Mike Watson, senior manager of Dell Global Recycling Services. “Every technology provider has a responsibility to provide free, easy and responsible recycling to consumers worldwide. We hope 2009 is the year that brings the industry together around this shared principle.”

“In addition to free and responsible computer recycling, the Dell-Reconnect partnership is enabling job creation and skill training at a time when both are very much needed,” said Jim Gibbons, President and CEO for Goodwill Industries International. “We commend Dell for setting a leadership example for the rest of the industry and for playing an important role in the creation of green-collar jobs.”

Program goals are to divert used computers and computer equipment from area landfills; and provide consumer education on the importance of environmentally-responsible computer disposal. Reconnect can also help create job opportunities for individuals who have barriers to employment or independence.

Consumers can drop off used computers at participating Goodwill stores and donation centers across the region. Goodwill will accept and sort the donated computer equipment and Dell's product recovery partner will recycle and remarket the recycled materials.

Consumers are responsible for removing data from hard drives and other storage media before donating to Goodwill. Consumers can also request a Goodwill receipt at time of donation.

Other states that are now a part of Reconnect include: Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont. Additionally, Akron, Ohio, Frederick, Md. and New Haven, Conn. are being launched as new Reconnect cities.

Click here for a list of participating Goodwill locations in Arkansas.