By Erica Hess
According to a United Nations University report, the world produced 41.8 million tons of e-waste in 2014, with less than one-sixth of it being properly recycled, leading to toxic chemicals going into landfills and polluting our environment.
Proper recycling of technology is especially challenging in large cities where mass transit is a primary form of travel, making transporting a used computer to a drop-off location difficult.
What if urban dwellers could responsibly recycle their used electronics with just a tap of their finger? In honor of America Recycles Day, Dell, Uber and Goodwill of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey teamed up to organize NYC Tech Takeback, an event that made this a reality for New York City residents.
On Nov. 14, 2015, people in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens could use their smartphone’s Uber app to request Tech Takeback: free, on-demand pickup of unwanted electronics from their home or office. Uber driver-partners then took the equipment to area Goodwill locations to be properly recycled through the Dell Reconnect program.
Dell Reconnect enables people to drop off computers, tablets, phones and other electronics – of any brand, in any condition – at more than 2,000 participating Goodwill locations across the U.S. to be responsibly recycled. This not only helps protect the environment through safe recycling and diverting e-waste from landfills, but all donations help Goodwill provide job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and disadvantages.
NYC Tech Takeback was designed to create awareness of the program and to help New Yorkers participate more easily. In just one day, Tech Takeback recovered more than 3 tons of used electronics.
Many lucky recyclers got a perk beyond a clean closet and peace of mind: a surprise visit from Dell Social Good Advocate, Adrian Grenier. Adrian rode along with an Uber driver-partner to pick up electronics, thank consumers for their participation, and raise awareness of Dell Reconnect and the importance of keeping e-waste out of landfills.
“What’s really great about this program is it’s using technology to solve a problem – technology to recycle technology – and it’s a collaboration among three big organizations,” said Adrian. “I think that’s important. When there’s corporate responsibility and companies that can make a difference putting their muscle behind a cause, a lot of good things will happen.”
Our global takeback programs in 78 countries and territories have made Dell the world’s largest technology recycler. We’ve collected more than 1.4 billion pounds of e-waste since 2007. That’s 71 percent of the way to our Legacy of Good goal of recovering 2 billion pounds by 2020.
Learn more about Dell’s global takeback programs and find an easy recycling option near you.
Watch a video of the NYC Tech Takeback event.