With the rapid changing technology, electronic equipment rapidly becomes out-dated. Various parts of the electronics contain chemicals like mercury, zinc, nickel, lead oxide and chromium which are highly toxic to humans and to the environment. Almost all the computer parts and its accessories can be recycled, so it is imperative that we recycle the electronics prudently.

In 2004, Dell and the Goodwill Industries International partnered together in an initiative to recycle the computer parts and called this endeavor ‘Reconnect’. It is a recycling program which offers you a convenient way to recycle your computer equipment for free. Last month, Microsoft tied hands with Dell and the Goodwill industries International on this initiative.

“The world consumes more electronic products every year, so it’s important to dispose of or recycle these items responsibly,” said Brian Tobey, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft. “Recycling of our consumer hardware products is a major part of Microsoft’s commitment to minimizing our environmental impact and that of our customers. The Reconnect program helps consumers easily and properly recycle these products at the end of their use, and our effort to strengthen and expand this program is a natural extension of our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

Goodwill has over 1900 collection centers and with Microsoft’s partnering, the consumers can now drop off their Microsoft entertainment products like Xbox, Zune and their accessories for free recycling at these locations. Ever since its conception in 2004, Reconnect has abstracted 96 million pounds of e-waste from ending up in landfills. The donated equipment is recycled by Dell after it is repaired, resold, or broken down into parts.

Apart from the benefits of protecting the environment with recycling of the computer equipment, Reconnect has also provided employment to people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience. The following items can be donated at the Reconnect centers:

1. Monitors
2. Computers (Both Desktop and Laptops)
3. Scanners
4. Printers
5. Internal and External Hard drives
6. Keyboards (Wired or wireless)
7. Mouse (Wired or wireless)
8. Speakers
9. Cords and Cables
10. Cartridges
11. Software
12. Microsoft Xbox
13. Microsoft Zune
14. Microsoft branded Webcams

Recycling Responsibly

Reconnect assures that the computers/electronics equipment that is donated is handled responsibly. It maintains high standards of workplace and ensures that the environmentally sensitive material is not disposed off to landfills. It is also ensured that there is no export of waste to the developing countries.

To find more information on the participating Goodwill locations and a complete list of products that can be donated, visit www.reconnectpartnership.com.

“Electronics recycling needs more awareness and more industry participation,” said Mike Watson, Senior Manager of Dell Global Recycling Services. “The Reconnect program exemplifies what sustainability practices can mean to our communities – extended life for technology and a successful life for our citizens. We’re glad to have Microsoft’s support.”

Indeed a great partnership to offer convenience to consumers who want to donate their electronic equipment for recycling and at the same time ensuring that they’re contributing to a noble cause and a greener planet.