Dell plans to launch a formal computer recycling scheme for European businesses by the end of the year.
But its announcement has been met with scepticism from some companies within the recycling industry, who believe Dell's current initiatives, especially in the US, raise more questions then they answer.
Details of Dell's commercial programme have yet to be finalised but it is likely to be based on the informal scheme the company currently runs in Europe.
All businesses will be responsible for certain phases of waste management of their products when the Waste Electrical and Electronic Directive (WEEE) becomes law in 2004.
But many companies are waiting before implementing recycling programmes, as some details of the directive have yet to be clarified.
Dell also wants to make use of experience it has gained with its current low-key initiatives.
This could mean building closer ties with companies involved in recycling and logistics, especially if Dell decides against links with any possible non-governmental organisations that could be set up to help implement the WEEE directive.
Dell spokesman Bryant Hilton said: "We already offer our customers an informal service to dispose of old equipment. In future, although we have to comply with the WEEE directive, we still want to give our customers the choice of how they want their old computer equipment dealt with.
"A company may want their old equipment scrapped, cannibalised, or sold on as an asset, a service we already offer through our partners under the present scheme," he said.
Kevin Riches, managing director at computer equipment recycling company Technical Asset Management (TAM), questioned Dell's strategy.
"Dell's whole recycling scheme sounds a bit hotchpotch and it raises more questions than it gives answers.
"I believe that companies such as TAM - which has been effectively and safely recycling technical assets within the WEEE directive - are already doing this better than Dell in the UK, and have done so for a number of years."
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