Just last week I wrote about the lack of federal regulations addressing e-waste exportation from the U.S. to developing countries. Along with groups like the Basel Action Network and Electronics Takeback Coalition, computer maker Dell has decided to do what it can on its own.
According to CIO-Today, Dell has published an e-waste policy that bans exportation of such waste to developing countries, save in certain limited circumstances. Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics Takeback Coalition, says "It may seem like nuance, but what Dell's doing is drawing a very sharp and clear line and saying they won't cross it, in a way that is just much brighter and clearer than the way anyone else does it."
The Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker defines e-waste as "any non-working parts or devices." Except for parts that must be shipped back to the manufacturer under warranty or parts that can go right back into manufacturing, Dell's e-waste will be processed here in the U.S. Significantly, the company also says it has audited each of its downstream recyclers, from the beginning of the trail to the end of it, to ensure that they also operate entirely in the U.S.
If any are found to be in violation of Dell's policy, they will no longer do business with Dell. Senior director for environmental sustainability Mark Newton says:
"We have suppliers lining up to work with us. There are plenty of reputable suppliers."