Students Demand Dell Recycle Computers

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

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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