Product recycling programs

Product end-of-life management programs

As part of its product end-of-life management (PELM) activities, IBM began offering product takeback programs in Europe in 1989 and has extended and enhanced them over the years. In addition, IBM's Global Asset Recovery Services offers asset recovery solutions to commercial customers in countries where IBM does business. These solutions include:

In many countries and US states, we offer solutions for the end-of-life management of computer equipment, either through voluntary IBM initiatives or programs in which we participate. While IBM has not offered products to household consumers in more than a decade, many countries and states require IBM to maintain these programs to address the diminishing amounts of returned personal computing products and monitors once sold by IBM.

IBM's voluntary environmental goal is to reuse or recycle end-of-life products such that the amount of product waste sent by our PELM operations to landfills or to incineration facilities for treatment does not exceed a combined 3 percent of the total amount processed.

In 2017, IBM's PELM operations worldwide processed 26,500 metric tons (58.5 million pounds) of end-of-life products and product waste, and sent only 0.7 percent (by weight) of the total to landfills or incineration facilities for treatment, performing better than IBM's corporate goal of sending 3 percent or less of the total amount processed to landfill or incineration facilities for treatment. Of the 26,500 metric tons processed by IBM PELM operations worldwide, 52.2 percent was was sent for recycling as materials, 39.6 percent was resold as products, 4.4 percent was product reused by IBM, 3.1 percent was incinerated for energy recovery and an estimated 0.7 percent was sent to landfills or incinerated for final disposal.

IBM established its corporate-wide requirement for the environmental evaluations of the company's PELM suppliers in 1991, an expansion of our supplier environmental evaluation program introduced in 1972. We evaluate these suppliers prior to doing business with them and every three years thereafter. Our objective is to use only suppliers that have a strong focus on environmental management, including complying with laws and regulations as well as sound management practices. More about IBM's requirements for our PELM suppliers may be found on our Environmental evaluations of suppliers webpage.

From 1995, when we first began including product recovery in our annual corporate environmental report, through the end of 2017, IBM has documented the collection and processing of approximately 1 million metric tons (about 2.3 billion pounds) of product and product waste worldwide.

For more information, visit Other product recycling information.


Information for recyclers under the WEEE Directive

Upon request, and in accordance with Article 11 of the EU Directive 2002/96 (EC) on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and its respective transpositions into national law of the EU Member States, IBM will provide information to recyclers in accordance with the 'EICTA, CECED, AeA and EERA Joint Position Guidance on Implementing Article 11 of Directive 2002/96 (EC) Concerning Information for Treatment Facilities.' For more, please visit Information for recyclers (not customers).


Product take back programs

WEEE, Batteries, Packaging and Global Asset Recovery Services

Many jurisdictions (countries, states, provinces, and/or cities) require manufacturers to create programs for no-charge product recycling for certain electronic equipment (e.g., personal computers, computer monitors and related accessories, etc.) that they have manufactured and sold.

IBM participates in a variety of take back for recycling programs for covered products, batteries or packaging which vary depending on local regulations. For more information on collection and recycling in your area, visit the IBM Product Take Back Programs website.


Printer Supplies Return Program

Information about the Ricoh Printer Supplies Return Program can be found on the Ricoh Resource Smart Return Program page.