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In 2007/08 less than 14% of the 28.6M computers sold in Australia were recycled. E-waste is a majorly toxic issue for the IT industry.

Taiwan based Acer has launched a “Recycle and Reward” program to help reduce e-waste. Its target is 1 million kilograms (why don’t PR’s just say 1,000 tonnes) in 2013.

Eligible items to recycle are ALL brands of notebooks, netbooks, desktops (but not monitors), all in one desktops and tablets.

"Save the planet" types need to register first at at the Acer on-line store (Click here) (note there will be a $15 fee per item from 1 February) to get an Aust Post E-Parcel return label, pack up their old goods properly in a sturdy carton no heavier than 22Kg or larger than 50x40x40cm or .0833m3 (with suitable void-fill packaging) and take it to AP. If the item has a lithium battery you must tell AP so they can send it by road or live with your conscience.

For your troubles you will receive by email a $120 voucher to spend at Acer’s on-line store. You can only use one voucher per order and you can't transfer any unused value to another order. I suspect the take up rate of voucher redemption will be pretty low - in which case $15 to recyle is a pretty good deal and you should do it anyway.

I asked why monitors were not accepted – these require specialised disposal and most local Councils provide this. To save Australia becoming an e-waste magnet for other countries the offer is only open to genuine Australian residents.

Acer has engaged Reverse E-Waste to dis-assemble the components and break them down into steel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, glass, PCB, fiberglass, rubber, plastic ABS, PVC and other types of plastics. Once separated, each commodity will then be sent to 'downstream' processors and smelters (both locally and internationally) for further refining, purification and recycling to produce new re-usable raw materials.

Nice gesture from Acer - 10 points.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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