01/09/2012 02:41 pm ET Updated Mar 10, 2012

Your Donated Equipment Has Value

Throughout the holiday season, the Consumer Electronics Association reminded us that electronics -- especially tablets, laptops and TVs -- were the most-wanted gifts. So as we enter the new year, it's a good time to assess the new gadgets you received and consider what to do with the electronics you'll no longer use.

More than 17 states throughout the country have laws banning households and businesses from discarding televisions, computers, laptops and tablets, monitors, printers and fax machines. Electronic waste has been a cause for concern, owing to the rapid turnover rate of these devices as emerging technology renders old units obsolete in a few months' or years' time. Landfills have been inundated with tons of electronic scrap, in spite of the fact that it is not only far more valuable when recycled, but recycling it creates a safer environment.

Keeping items, including electronics, out of landfills is one of the things Goodwill® does best. In 2004, Dell and Goodwill made it easy for members of the public to be green by offering a convenient and responsible way to recycle computer equipment through a partnership known as Dell Reconnect. The partnership offers a solution for disposal of unwanted electronics. Participating Goodwill donation centers accept any brand of computer equipment in any condition from consumers and recycle it for free. Goodwill also accepts just about anything that can be attached to a computer.

Dell Reconnect is a residential computer recycling program that offers an easy, convenient and responsible way to recycle used computer equipment. As a producer of electronics, Dell is committed to conserving resources through the reuse of materials (whole systems, parts, and/or commodity materials) that are collected as part of the take-back program.

Reconnect participants who donate their unwanted electronics to a Goodwill donation center receive a tax receipt. Some Goodwills even offer a coupon for 10 percent off the next purchase. By donating used electronics to Goodwill, you are able to help the environment while helping your local community at the same time.

The Dell Reconnect program recently announced that an additional 319 donation sites will become part of the Dell Reconnect program. With this expansion, Dell Reconnect will be offered in 77 more counties across Alabama, Kansas, Florida and Ohio. In total, there will be 27 statewide programs with a presence in 44 states and two Canadian provinces. There will also be more than 2,600 Goodwill drop-off locations in the United States and Canada, giving more than 6.8 million households access to free electronics recycling, with a total of 64 million households in all through the partnership. This expansion is estimated to annually divert an additional 7.5 million pounds of unwanted electronics from landfills. To date, the program has diverted 232 million pounds.

The Dell Reconnect program aligns Goodwill's and Dell's environmental sustainability efforts and translates into jobs and training opportunities for people with disabilities and disadvantages. The program has helped to create green jobs for people in need of work -- from jobs collecting and sorting electronics to more skilled disassembly positions, and the revenue from the sales of recycled computer equipment supports Goodwill's job training, employment services programs and other support services, including financial education, tax preparation and youth mentoring.

The Goodwill Dell Reconnect program is driving positive, sustainable change all year long.

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