EBay Inc. and Intel Corp. have launched a recycling program to help Americans safely dispose of used electronics.
According to the Associated Press, EBay lists about US$5-billion worth of new and used computers and consumer electronics such as cellular phones, gaming equipment and hand-held computers. According to research firm Gartner Inc., U.S. consumers retire or replace roughly 133,000 personal computers per day.
Because relatively few people are willing to pay for professional recycling and many don’t want to dispose of hard drives containing personal data, machines often end up stored away in basements or garages. If improperly disposed, PCs can leak toxins into the environment, including lead, cadmium, chronium and mercury.
"You don’t want to throw them out, and you don’t know what to do with them," EBay chief executive Meg Whitman, said. She launched the recycling program, Rethink, last Thursday at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The effort is centred around the website, ebay.com/rethink. At the site, Americans can get information about how to get rid of their electronics safely. It also includes a downloadable program that will erase all data from hard drives, ensuring owner’s financial information or other data won’t be shared.
Other corporate sponsors include Apple Computer Inc., Gateway Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Ingram Micro Inc. as well as the U.S. Postal Service, which in some cases will help deliver PCs to EBay drop-off locations or recycling centres.
For further information, visit: http://ebay.com/rethink