Dell is trialling a free PC recycling scheme for consumers and small businesses. Restricted to Sydney and Melbourne, at least for now, the direct-dealing vendor is accepting all brands as part of the program.
Corporate communications manager, Paul McKeon, said it would help reduce waste while providing Dell with a better idea of how to design devices that were more environmentally friendly.
"The idea is to reduce the number of unwanted PCs in the community that might go to landfill and to make sure metal, plastic and glass can be re-used and recycled where possible," he said.
Consumers and small businesses would be allowed to recycle up to three PCs each.
"We are prepared to wear the cost of recycling but we had to make sure the scheme was not being used by larger businesses, which have other options," McKeon said.
The free recycling initiative could eventually be launched nationally depending on trial results.
"We need to see what the take-up rate is and how it works, what the costs are and whether or not it is something we want to make permanent," he said.
"There is a cost involved in recycling PCs. It is different from recycling bottles or newspapers because computers need to be dismantled."
Dell recently held a PC recycling day at Cromer Public School in Sydney, where it collected almost 10 tonnes of equipment including more than 300 CRT monitors.
Four out of five PCs that were handed in dated back to the 1990s, with some museum pieces built way back in the 1970s.
HP has also made environmental moves this year, co-founding a Victorian government recycling project aimed at hard drives, monitors, scanners, keyboards and printers.