Students Demand Dell Recycle Computers

| October 21, 2002

Students Demand Dell Recycle Computers

'Dude, you should have bought a Dell!' exclaims the obnoxious student/surferdude spokesman in a television commercial, part of Dell's new marketing scheme aimed at students. Although most college students' vocabulary is fairly dude-free, Dell's consumer sales increased 100 percent after the campaign's launch last year, writes Molly Kirk in WireTap.

But if targeting students has proven lucrative for Dell, who claims the greatest share of the global personal computer market, students are targeting the computer mega-giant, as well: 'Dell, you should be recycling your computers, dude.'

Each year, 10 million computers become obsolete in the United States. Their growing presence in landfills, as well as their toxicity, is an environmental and public health threat. But in Europe, where producer responsibility laws require companies to recycle, reuse, or appropriately dispose of used computers, Dell provides programs that take back their consumers' computers for free.

The student-launched Computer Take Back Campaign thinks Dell should provide a similar program here in the United States. The Campaign's Web site ( calls on Dell to become an environmental leader and demands that Dell take responsibility for its products.

Campaign organizer Kara Reeve is counting on students to become active on the issue, and so far, 100,000 have. 'Dell is the leading seller of computers to government agencies and educational institutions,' Reeve explained. 'Since we are organizing on campuses and many colleges have contracts with Dell, students can put pressure on their school to negotiate contracts with Dell that include Take Back.'
--Rebecca Wienbar
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