Dell Expands E-Waste Definition, Bans Export

As part of its global policy, Dell has banned the export of non-working electronics to developing countries.

Its electronics disposition policy now exceeds the requirements of the Basel Convention, which bans the export of certain electronic waste based on its material or chemical composition. By expanding its definition of electronic waste to include all non-working parts or devices, irrespective of material composition, Dell aims to help prevent the unauthorized dumping of electronic waste in developing countries by requiring that equipment be tested and certified as "working" prior to export.

The company defines electronic waste as non-working parts or devices, irrespective of material composition. It does not include:

  • Materials deemed non-hazardous by the Basel Convention;
  • Working equipment and parts that are not intended for disposal or recycling, but for donation, reuse, or resale;
  • Components being returned under warranty to the original equipment manufacturer; or
  • Materials to be used in manufacturing without further processing or preparation.

The policy says the company does not permit electronic waste to be exported from Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development or the European Union member countries to nonmember companies, either directly or through intermediaries.

The policy also reinforces that electronic waste processed by Dell's disposition chain is tracked and documented throughout the entire chain of custody until final disposition, and that the company will audit its recycling, refurbishment, and processing vendors at least annually to ensure they conform with the electronics disposition policy and environmental partner performance standards.