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[greenyes] press release on prison labor

Here is a press release for our latest report which compares HP and Dell's computer recycling models. Sheila Davis is the principle author.
The New York Times and Associated Press have already said that they will do stories, and we are expecting much wider distribution also.
the full report is now available on our web site at

Ted Smith

Computer TakeBack Campaign
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

For immediate release: For more information, contact:
June 25 , 2003 Sheila Davis: 415-846-6331
Ted Smith: 408-287-6707 ext. 305

New Report Documents Dell?s Use of  High-tech Chain Gang:
Case study contrasts Hewlett Packard?s recycling efforts

(San Jose) A new report released today documents the vast differences between the two largest U.S. computer makers -- Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell Computer (Dell) -- in their computer recycling strategies. The case study finds that H-P employs state of the art practices in its partnership with Micro Metallics Corporation, while Dell employs low end prison labor in its partnership with UNICOR, the Federal Prison Industry. The report, entitled CORPORATE STRATEGIES FOR ELECTRONIC RECYCLING: A TALE OF TWO SYSTEMS is a publication of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and the Computer TakeBack Campaign!

The report examines three critical areas and finds enormous differences in the models:

· Transparency and accountability to the public
· General compliance with occupational health and safety standards
· Use of best recycling practices and their potential for wide adoption by the private sector

?We were appalled to witness the working conditions inside the federal prison at Atwater, California, where inmates were using hammers to smash computer monitors? stated Sheila Davis, Director of the Clean Computer Campaign and principle author of the report. In sharp contrast, the report documents that a ?high standards approach to computer recycling is not only possible, it?s already being done by Hewlett Packard today at its facility in Roseville, California. We need to support this high-end approach or else it will be dragged down to the lowest common denominator? added Ted Smith, Executive Director of Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and National Coordinator of the Computer TakeBack Campaign.

These recycling operations suggest two divergent paths for the future of e-waste recycling in America. One path leads toward efficient, transparent, modern facilities staffed by free labor, possessed of their rights as contemporary employees, able to protect themselves and nearby communities from harm. ?The other path descends into a closed, Dickensian world of prisoners condemned to dangerous work for little pay under backward conditions,? according to David Wood, Executive Director of Grass Roots Recycling Network. ?Depending on the path we choose, e-waste recycling can contribute to community economic development and environmental protection, or can become the equivalent of breaking rocks on a high-tech chain gang.?

The Computer TakeBack Campaign has urged Dell to agree to use private sector recyclers that employ high standards while it called on EPA to distance itself from prison labor. The Campaign is a national network of dozens of groups throughout the U.S. that are working together to protect America's public health by promoting corporate accountability for electronic waste. For more information, see


Ted Smith

Ted Smith
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition/Computer TakeBack Campaign
760 N. First Street,San Jose, CA 95112
408-287-6707-phone; 408-287-6771-fax
Food for thought: How Gandhi Defined the Seven Deadly Sins
· Wealth without work; · Pleasure without conscience; · Knowledge without character;· Commerce without morality;
· Science without humanity;· Worship without sacrifice;· Politics without principle

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