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Benefits Research Group
 
Building Homeowner Power
 
Citizens for Flood Safety
 
Clean Air Cars
 
Family Farm Action
 
Fighting Pension Privatization
 
Handling GASB 43/45 and OPEB
 
Investing for Human Rights
 
Poison PC Update
 
Take Back Campaign
 
Winning Pension Power
 
 
 
 
Poison PC Update
   
When the TakeBack Campaign began, Dell had a simple recycling effort (that only captured 200,000 units out of nearly 13 million sold during 2002 - a stunningly flawed effort for a company with established marketing prowess). The campaign shined the public light of media scrutiny on that effort.

  • Dell sent obsolescent computers to the Federal Prison Industries agency, called UNICOR. The Campaign sent a team to inspect Dell’s recycling contractor - and then compared that unregulated prison labor program with a private operator with a IAMAW union contract and worker health and safety committee. The Campaign issued a report on UNICOR’s operations, Corporate Strategies for Electronics Recycling: A Tale of Two Systems Corporate Strategies for Electronics Recycling: A Tale of Two Systems Over 160 newspapers (and an undetermined number of other electronic media) gave Dell’s "a high tech chain gang" national and international coverage. Less than a week after the release of the report, Dell announced it would drop the prison labor program and contract with regulated private recycling programs see the New York Times story.



  • The Campaign also wanted to call attention to the 99% of Dell’s obsolete electronics still lacking safe, clean, recycling - polluting communities and harming public health when dumped in local landfills or shipped overseas to developing countries. With the Dell annual meeting approaching, the Campaign decided to collect left over e-waste in cities where Dell had offered one-day collection programs as a public relations gesture. CEO Michael Dell would get the computers delivered to him at shareholders meeting in Austin. The "Hard Drive Across the West," touched down in seven cities - Seattle, Portland, Denver, San Francisco, LA, Dallas and Austin, Dell’s home town.


  • Activists finished the ten day truck tour with actions at the Dell shareholders meeting in Austin, July 17th and 18th. To raise awareness of the moral dimensions of Dell’s transgressions and to lay them at CEO Michael Dell’s feet, local Campaign leader Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE) pulled together a letter from leading Austin clergy calling on Michael Dell to take personal leadership of his company’s environmental efforts. Lincoln Crow helped TCE turn that letter into a full page newspaper ad that ran the day before the shareholders meeting.


  • During the ten day truck tour, Dell responded to the growing number of press inquiries by making a number of sudden moves. On July 10th, Dell announced in a news conference that they were creating a new recycling program that would take consumer ewaste for $49 per unit, without using prison labor or exporting. By July 15th, the morning of the fifth of seven grass roots events in the "Hard Drive Across the West," Dell had quietly dropped that amount to .99 cents.


 

 

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