IBM Recycled More Than 100 Million Pounds Of Computer Equipment Last Year - InformationWeek

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4/20/2007
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IBM Recycled More Than 100 Million Pounds Of Computer Equipment Last Year

Annual Earth Day-timed announcement marks the fourth year the company decreased the amount of used equipment it placed in landfills.

IBM said it processed more than 100 million pounds of used and obsolete computer gear in 2006.

IBM announced its progress Friday, two days before Earth Day. The company said it processed the products as part of its computer renewal and recycling efforts worldwide and returned less than 1% of the nonhazardous material to landfills.

The announcement marked the fourth year in a row that IBM reported decreasing the amount of equipment it returns to landfills.

"While we are known for being a leading manufacturer of IT equipment, IBM also leads the way in computer disposal," Wayne Balta, IBM VP of environmental policy, said in a prepared statement. "By returning less to landfills through renewal, refurbishment, and recycling, we are doing our part to protect the environment around the world." IBM has recycled computers for more than 20 years, when it began leasing and taking responsibility for equipment coming off lease. IBM employees familiarized themselves with environmental regulations around the world and developed practices for data security.

IBM said more than 600 million corporate PCs alone are due for retirement by 2010, but only 2 to 5% will be wiped clean of sensitive data and recycled. IBM customers can use a disk-overwriting service that overwrites the hard drives to U.S. Department of Defense standards.

IBM said its Global Asset Recovery Services takes in more than 40,000 pieces of IT gear from clients each week.

"Closets filled with old IT equipment are becoming a huge headache for IT managers across the globe," Daniel Ransdell, general manager of IBM Global Asset Recovery Services, said in a prepared statement. "We have taken the skills and know-how that we have built up over the years and are now helping companies clean out their closets. Today we have best-in-class, comprehensive solutions that can address an enterprise's environmental and data-security challenges and put some money back in their pocket after resale in the secondary market."

IBM touts brand agnostic computer recycling operations, taking back the equipment of all other IT manufacturers. IBM also recycles medical devices, like MRI and medical diagnostic equipment, for reuse, refurbishing, resale, and leasing.

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