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Dell Takes Strong Stance Against Exporting E-Waste


• Dell Bans the Export of Electronic Waste to Developing Countries • Expands Definition of Electronic Waste to Include All Non-Working Parts, Irrespective of Material Composition.

Dell today became the first major computer manufacturer to ban the export of non-working electronics to developing countries as part of its global policy on responsible electronics disposal.

Dell’s electronics disposition policy now exceeds requirements of the Basel Convention, which bans the export of certain electronic waste based on its material or chemical composition. By expanding its definition of electronic waste to include all non-working parts or devices, irrespective of material composition, Dell aims to help prevent the unauthorized dumping of electronic waste in developing countries by requiring that equipment be tested and certified as “working” prior to export.

These additions to the company’s disposition policy reflect Dell’s long-standing commitment to responsibly manage sensitive electronic waste through final disposition.

The News:

Dell’s electronics disposition policy, available at, lays out the company’s commitment to responsibly dispose of all electronic waste generated by Dell’s global operations and take-back programs.

In it, Dell defines electronic waste as non-working parts or devices, irrespective of material composition. It does not include:

* Materials deemed non-hazardous by the Basel Convention;
* Working equipment and parts that are not intended for disposal or recycling, but for donation, reuse or resale;
* Components being returned under warranty to the original equipment manufacturer; or
* Materials to be used in manufacturing without further processing or preparation.

The policy also states:

* All exports and imports of electronic waste handled by Dell and its authorized environmental partners will comply with existing international waste trade agreements and legal requirements;
* Dell does not permit electronic waste to be exported from developed (members countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development [OECD] or the European Union [EU]) to developing (non-OECD/EU) countries, either directly or through intermediaries;
* No prison or child labor will be used in the disposal of electronic waste; and
* Every reasonable effort will be made to control all electronic wastes and prevent it from entering landfills or incinerators.

The policy also reinforces that electronic waste processed by Dell’s disposition chain is tracked and documented throughout the entire chain of custody until final disposition, and that Dell will audit its recycling, refurbishment and processing vendors at least annually to ensure they conform with Dell’s electronics disposition policy and environmental partner performance standards.


* Tod Arbogast, director of sustainable business, Dell: “As one of the world’s leading providers of technology, we recognize our responsibility to ensure that technology is disposed of properly at the end of its usable life. These additions to our disposition policy reflect the way Dell has been operating for years with regard to electronics disposition. We strongly encourage the rest of the industry to do the same using globally consistent practices like these.”
* Barbara Kyle, National Coordinator, Electronics TakeBack Coalition: “Too many companies are still exporting used, non-working electronic equipment to developing countries, supposedly for repairs. We applaud Dell for drawing a clear line by saying they will not export non-working electronics to developing countries – not for recycling, and not for repairs. Dell’s policy on e-waste export is now the strongest in the industry and demonstrates Dell’s leadership as a global environmental citizen.”


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