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[greenyes] New CTBC Report Card ranks PC companies

This message contains two media stories about the release of the Computer TakeBack Campaign's 5th Annual Report Card.
The first is from the New York Times, the second is from the San Jose Mercury.

The report card and the new CTBC Statement of Principles on Producer Responsibility endorsed by H-P and Dell is at

from the New York Times

May 19, 2004

2 PC Makers Favor Bigger Recycling Roles


SAN FRANCISCO, May 18 - Dell and Hewlett-Packard, the nation's largest
personal computer makers, said on Tuesday that they were moving to support
more recycling and taking more of the financial burden for the recycling
of used computers off consumers and local governments.

The pledges by Dell and Hewlett-Packard were timed to the release
Wednesday of an annual "report card" of corporate environmental behavior
by the Computer Takeback Campaign, a project of the Silicon Valley Toxics
Coalition, an environmental research group based in San Jose, Calif.

In its report card, the Computer Takeback Campaign gave Hewlett-Packard
the highest rating in the electronic industry because of its commitment to
take responsibility for the recycling of discarded computer equipment.

Dell, which fared poorly in the report last year for its use of prison
labor in recycling, moved to second place for its willingness to shoulder
more of the burdens of recycling. Currently, both Dell and Hewlett-Packard
run programs that pick up and recycle a customer's old computer for fees
ranging from $13 to $30.

Dell reported that the recycling rate for its consumer products equaled 3
to 5 percent of its total consumer sales, while most companies hovered
below the 2 percent recovery rate or were unable to provide data at all.

Hewlett, however, has been a vocal opponent of legislation passed last
year in California that requires customers of certain types of electronic
equipment, like displays and televisions, to pay a recycling fee to be
used by local agencies. That law goes into effect in July.

The company says the $6 to $10 per unit fee mandated by the law will not
come close to covering the cost of the recycling. Hewlett would rather
have control over the recycling process, and supported a Maine law that
requires computer makers to pay for facilities that recycle computers.

"We're opposed to taking it out of the control of producers," said Steve
Rockhold, Hewlett-Packard's worldwide program manager for recycling. The
company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., recycles 100 million pounds of
electronic equipment every year, though the company charges consumers per
item for recycling.

Officials of the Takeback Campaign have been urging companies to set up
recycling facilities and are pleased that Dell and Hewlett agree with that
approach. "We believe the companies have to set up these systems, not
governments," said Ted Smith, executive director of the Toxics Coalition.

Complicating the recycling debate is whether all makers of old computers
should be responsible for recycling even though they do not have a big
share of the PC market now. I.B.M., for example, once had a bigger share
of the market than Hewlett-Packard and Dell. If recycling fees are charged
to new computer buyers, companies like I.B.M. would escape having to pay
for their share of the recycling.

(c) 2004 Mercury News and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

Toxics coalition ranks PC makersBy Karl Schoenberger

Mercury News

Nobody made the honor roll, but for the first time the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition has given passing marks to three computer makers in its annual report card for recycling and environmental practices in the electronics industry.

In the group's fifth annual rankings, to be released today, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and NEC made the grade -- but just barely. All landed in the top category -- ``The Beginners'' -- for belatedly recognizing that computer makers have a responsibility to reduce the toxic content of their products and then recycle them when they're discarded, Ted Smith, director of the environmental group, said Tuesday.

IBM and Sony almost made the cut, but they slipped into the second category, ``The Trailers.'' Apple Computer, with conspicuously poor marks by the coalition, ranked seventh of the 27 companies reviewed. EMachines and Gateway clocked in ``Still at the Starting Gate,'' while Sun Microsystems, Viewsonic, Wyse Technologies and 13 other manufacturers scored zero -- ``The Bench Warmers.''

``Apple has always been disappointing,'' Smith said. ``They're not taking responsibility for the life cycle of their products. They haven't developed an effective take-back campaign, and evidently they don't think they should.''

Apple declined to comment on the report card.

Dell earned the ``Most Improved'' award for stopping its use of prison labor to recycle computers and for supporting the nationwide take-back campaign. ``They were in the doghouse for so long, so it's encouraging to see them make progress,'' Smith said.
Dell spokesman Bryant Hilton said the company is focusing on consumer education to boost its recycling volume by 50 percent next year. ``I think both sides would agree that we still have a long way to go,'' he said Tuesday.

IBM was given credit for its investment in more than six recycling facilities, but the report criticized the company for not taking responsibility for its ``extraordinary contribution to legacy waste.'' IBM collects upfront recycling fees at the point of purchase, but the report said those fees will fall far short of covering a coming ``tidal wave'' of older IBM e-waste. It faults Big Blue for relying on taxpayer-supported municipal recycling.
IBM issued a statement saying it hadn't seen details of the report but that ``the environmental impact of IT equipment is a legitimate concern, and we take it very seriously.''
The complete report is at

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