Computer recycling has never been convenient. While just about every major manufacturer offers an end-of-life take back program, finding and printing the right labels, weighing materials, and shipping the package off isn’t always easy. Even then, some manufacturers will only collect their brand materials meaning you have to do the same process all over again for that monitor you got elsewhere. Having a reliable, go-to place to recycle any brand computer for free would be easiest right? With Reconnect, that’s the place Goodwill is trying to become. Dell and Goodwill are now extending their Reconnect Program to 31 drop-off locations in New York City and eastern New York State.
With the New York locations, the Reconnect program is now available at a total of 606 stores and drop-off centers. New York is the fourth state-wide Reconnect program along with Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey. The program is also available in Austin, San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia and elsewhere. You can check here to see if Reconnect is available in your city.
The program is slightly more complex than the above equation. It works like this: Goodwill accepts and sorts the materials and transfers them to Dell who assesses their them. Material with resale value will be refurbished and resold and the remaining material will be recycled. The pairing makes sense. Goodwill lists electronic waste as a public policy priority. The non-profit organization spreads information on the subject, promotes e-waste policy, and offers solutions like Reconnect. Dell, the electronics giant, has been doing everything it can to be more sustainable from going carbon neutral to EPEAT certifying its products. Their efforts have landed gotten them the #3 spot in the EPA Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge. No small feat.
As a guy who used to work at a computer store, every month or so I get somebody asking me where to recycle their computer or iPod. I often end up short of a solid solution. Waiting for the next electronics recycling event isn’t convenient. Sending it back to the manufacturer isn’t easy either. The local computer store isn’t always free and might not take everything. If only I could tell them: “Go to Goodwill. They take everything for free.” Hopefully the success of the program continues and I will be able to say just that.