The downside of having shiny new products to play with every year is that many of their older counterparts turn into "e-waste." We don't often hear good news about e-waste, which makes Dell's announcement that it recycled 2 billion pounds of e-waste two years ahead of schedule that much more of a pleasant surprise.
Dell outlined its e-waste management goals in the Dell 2020 Legacy of Good Plan (opens in new tab), (which apparently did turn out to be a "good plan"). It was initially written in 2013, and as the title suggests, it set the goal of recycling 2 billion pounds of e-waste by 2020. DigiTimes reported today that Dell, in fact, met that goal in 2018.
Dell Taiwan Design Center head Kefetew Salassie reportedly said that the company is recycling gold from its motherboards, using marine plastics in its products and using other reclaimed materials in everything from laptops, including several models made entirely from recycled carbon fiber, to servers.
The company is also said to be "cooperating with an India startup to turn diesel engine exhaust gas into printing ink," with "over 150,000 boxes printed with recycled inks so far," as per DigiTimes. Maybe that will take some of the sting out of having to buy new ink cartridge in this modern era.
Salassie noted that Dell currently plans to use 100 million pounds of recycled materials across its product lines by Earth Day April 22. We'll have to see if the company updates the 2020 Legacy of Good Plan to reflect these milestones or if it will simply be content to have met its goals.
Managing e-waste is becoming increasingly vital to Earth's sustainability. As we noted in relation to Apple's GiveBack trade-in program in August, the United Nations University predicts the world will have accumulated 52.2 million metric tons by 2021. Unfortunately, Dell's two billion recycled pounds pales in comparison.
If you want to take a small page from Dell's book and are also looking for ways to avoid dumping unwanted electronics into landfills, be sure to check out our guide for how to sell your used PC parts and components.