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Toshiba Expands Recycling, Joins EPEAT

Toshiba has launched a free computer take-back program. The company also has joined the Green Electronics Council’s Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool by registering select notebook models.

Toshiba offers to recycle its notebook computers for free with no obligation by the consumer to purchase a new Toshiba computer. Non-Toshiba notebook computers will be recycled for a small shipping fee.

In addition, Toshiba offers users the option of trading in their used, functioning computers for cash.

To be registered with EPEAT, Toshiba’s notebooks are required to meet the IEEE 1680-2006 standard.

The EPA says American consumers generated nearly 2 million tons of electronic waste in 2005, the Mercury News reports. Gartner estimates that 133,000 PCs are discarded by U.S. homes and businesses each day.

Only 10 to 15 percent of electronics are currently recycled, industry analysts say. The rest collects dust in people’s homes or gets dumped into municipal landfills, where environmentalists worry toxic chemicals can leak out.

Earlier this year, Hewlett-Packard announced that it had recycled more than 164 million pounds of hardware and HP print cartridges globally in its 2006 fiscal year -? an increase of 16 percent over the previous year.

Also, Dell recently announced free recycling of any Dell-branded product for consumers worldwide as part of its global recycling policy.

As of late last year, nine manufacturers were participating in EPEAT, the EPA-funded green computer standard released in July. More than 300 computers are now registered.

Manufacturers in the program include Apple, CTL, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, NEC Display Solutions, Northern Micro, Panasonic, and Sony.

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