Office Depot and HP have teamed up to create what they call "the country's first free, nationwide, in-store electronics recycling program." Starting July 18 and running through September 6, 2004, Office Depot will accept a wide range of products for recycling at all of its 870 stores nationwide for no charge. HP handles the actual recycling.
"Computer obsolescence is on the rise," says Chuck Rubin, an executive vice-president at Office Depot. "By 2005, 250 million PCs will be obsolete. The average lifespan of a PC will be two years compared to 1992 when the lifespan was 4.5 years."
Computers consist mostly of recyclable materials, and landfills ban some of the materials. "As a company, " says Rubin, "Office Depot is committed to environmental stewardship. By combining HP's leadership in electronics recycling and our retail presence and reverse logistics capabilities, we offer our customers an environmentally sound way to dispose of obsolete electronics."
According to officials, the list of computer and electronic products they'll accept (from any manufacturer) includes: desktops, notebooks, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, handhelds, digital cameras, fax machines, desktop copiers, flat panel displays, monitors, TVs (up to 27 inches), TV/VCR combos and cell phones. The recycling service is free, but people are limited to one solution a computer system with PC, monitor, mouse and keyboard or one product a scanner or a PDA, for example per person, per day.
Good for Business, Good for the Earth
The recycled materials will be collected and taken to HP's recycling facilities near Nashville, Tenn., or in Roseville, Calif. The facility separates the materials, grinds them into pieces about the size of a quarter and ships them out to be made into new products.
After September 6, Office Depot and HP will evaluate the success of the program and look for opportunities to improve it. Both companies expect to continue the program is some form.
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com