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EBay creates Web site to facilitate e-waste recycling

Jan. 7 -- EBay unveiled an electronics reuse and recycling initiative Jan. 6 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The centerpiece of the initiative, which EBay has dubbed Rethink, is a Web site that explains to consumers and businesses how to properly get rid of old electronic equipment. The site promotes reuse and recycling and facilitates the selling and donation of computers. The site´s address is www.ebay.com/rethink.

The initiative provides information on third-party companies that can pick up computer systems and peripherals and sell them on behalf of the owners. Another directory helps businesses find a local asset recovery specialist to handle the disposition of multiple computer systems.

Visitors to the site can donate working computers to the National Cristina Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides used computer equipment to schools, charities and other agencies committed to training people with disabilities, students at risk and the economically disadvantaged.

The Rethink Initiative coordinates recycling and reuse efforts by electronics companies including Intel Corp., Apple Computer Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Ingram Micro Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif. Internet technology distributor. Other participants include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, United Parcel Service of America Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service. More about this initiative from E-Wire Press Business Editors/Technology Writers eBay Launches PC Reuse and Recycling Initiative "Rethink" Initiative Unites Intel Corp., Apple, Gateway, HP, IBM, IngramMicro and Environmental Groups Behind Unprecedented E-Waste Effort


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, Jan. 6 -/E-Wire/Business Wire/-- eBay
The World's Online Marketplace(R), today launched a major initiative that brings together leading technology companies, government agencies, environmental groups and millions of eBay users to confront the problem of "e-waste" -- unused or obsolete computers that may pose environmental hazards when disposed of in landfills.

With Intel Corporation as its primary ally, eBay's Rethink Initiative coordinates efforts by industry leaders Apple, Gateway, HP, IBM and Ingram Micro with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the non-profit Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service, among other participants. The centerpiece of the program is a Web site (www.ebay.com/rethink) that helps consumers and businesses learn about the different product disposition alternatives, such as recycling and refurbishing, and makes it easy to put this knowledge into action.

As consumers and businesses upgrade their PCs to enjoy new capabilities and increase productivity, many are unsure about how to responsibly dispose of old equipment. The Rethink Initiative brings private and public organizations together to promote reuse and recycling as key steps in the purchase process. Intel and eBay will jointly promote the Rethink Initiative and work together in reaching out to additional industry, government and environmental groups to help make the Rethink Initiative even more comprehensive.

Industry analyst Gartner estimates that in the U.S. alone, about 133,000 PCs per day are currently being retired and replaced by their original owners. These systems may contain hazardous materials, such as plastic, lead, cadmium, chromium, and mercury that need to be handled in an environmentally responsible manner. Yet Americans' understanding of recycling and reuse options remains limited -- only about 10 percent of unwanted PCs in the U.S. are recycled, according to the Grass Roots Recycling Network.

"eBay's millions of users can be a powerful force for good," said Meg Whitman, eBay president and CEO. "The Rethink Initiative will educate consumers on how to properly dispose of or recycle the millions of tons of e-waste they confront each year. We're extremely excited about the positive role eBay's user community will play in confronting this environmental dilemma."

At the Rethink site, individuals and businesses can take advantage of two core resources:
-- Education: Comprehensive information on the options available to consumers and small businesses to reuse or responsibly recycle computers.
-- Disposition tools: Easy access to a full range of responsible product disposition options -- including services provided by Rethink Initiative participants -- and a variety of eBay-related solutions including assisted selling on eBay with convenient local drop-off options, trade-in programs, donating to charity or recycling in their local area.

"As the technology industry continues to develop new and exciting products, it's important that all parties -- industry, government, business and consumers -- work together to responsibly dispose of old equipment," said Intel CEO Craig Barrett. "Intel has a 10-year history of work on this issue, and we're pleased to be a part of eBay's Rethink Initiative. It creates a unique central resource for consumers and businesses who want to make informed decisions and do the right thing with their used technology products."

Computer industry, government, environmental and charitable organizations that meet the Rethink Initiative criteria for participation (available on the site) may join the Rethink Initiative at no cost. Member groups list their reuse and recycling solutions on the Rethink site, and can link back to Rethink from their own websites as well.

The Rethink Initiative helps individuals and businesses with idle computers by providing value guides that show how much an item might be worth, and therefore which disposal option might be right for them: Working Computers Working computers can be sold or donated via the Rethink Initiative site. Tools to aid selling on eBay include a safe data destruction utility, listing helpers that automatically identify system components, and information on how to purchase protective shipping kits. The Rethink Initiative also provides access to a directory of third-party sellers who can pick up one or more items and sell them on behalf of the items' owners. An additional directory helps businesses outsource the disposition process to a local asset recovery specialist.

Site visitors also can opt to donate their working PCs to the National Cristina Foundation. This non-profit organization works nationally to provide donations of used computer equipment to schools, charities and public agencies committed to training people with disabilities, students at risk and economically disadvantaged persons.

Obsolete and Non-Working Computers
For systems past their useful life, Rethink site visitors can find a list of responsible recyclers compiled by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and their partners in the Computer TakeBack Campaign, a diverse coalition of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations. The site also links to additional recycling resources administered by Rethink's member organizations.

About eBay
eBay is The World's Online Marketplace(R). Founded in 1995, eBay created a powerful platform for the sale of goods and services by a passionate community of individuals and businesses. On any given day, there are millions of items across thousands of categories for sale on eBay. Ebay enables trade on a local, national and international basis with customized sites in markets around the world. Through an array of services, such as its payment solution provider PayPal, eBay is enabling global e-commerce for an ever-growing online community.

/SOURCE: eBay
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01-06-2005
/CONTACT: Brad Williams, 408-623-3602 Shannon Stubo, 415-613-5166