March 23, 2019
computers and consumer electronics – so-called “e-waste”
– compose one of the fastest growing and highly toxic waste streams
in the industrialized world. There will soon be an estimated 300 million
to 600 million obsolete computers in the U.S., with fewer than 10% recycled.
Containing lead, mercury, cadmium, and dioxin-like flame retardants, obsolete
computers pose a serious threat to human health and the environment when
improperly disposed or recycled. Taxpayers and local governments bear the
cost and burden of managing these wastes. The Computer TakeBack Campaign
was formed in response to this growing crisis, promoting brand owner and
producer responsibility for e-waste. Read
the Campaign’s Goal and our Take
It Back! Platform.
Who we are
The Computer TakeBack Campaign is
a decentralized coalition co-coordinated by GRRN and Silicon Valley Toxics
Coalition. Leading organizations in the Campaign include AsYou Sow Foundation,
Californians Against Waste, Clean Production Network, Clean Water Action,
Communication Workers of America, ecopledge.com, Institute for Local Self
Reliance, Materials for the Future Foundation, Mercury Policy Project,
and Texas Campaign for the Environment.
GRRN and the Computer TakeBack Campaign targeted Dell Computer Corporation
to lead its industry to a sustainable solution for e-waste. Dell is the
leading seller of personal computers, with dominant market shares in important
sectors like public agencies and educational institutions. Dell’s
unique phone and internet sales model means the company knows every one
of its customers by name, e-mail and mailing address, what equipment they
own, and when they bought it – putting the company is a unique position
to develop an effective national producer take back system.
Creating Student Pressure
GRRN and the Computer TakeBack Campaign are organizing students and campus
activists to target Dell Computer and to influence the purchasing decisions
made by their schools, requiring take back provisions in all computer