HP Launches Top-Secret Takeback Program

topsecretHewlett-Packard is now offering free takeback on old HP equipment, but trying to work out whether you're actually near a convenient recycling centre has been turned into a ridiculously contorted process.

We're all for green initiatives, and it's great that HP is willing to take back and properly process for recycling old PCs, printers and peripherals from consumers (it's long offered the service for big-spending corporates). Nor do we have any argument with the idea that the program involves a drop-off: as HP's own FAQ proclaims, it's a responsibility that can be shared.

What completely beggars belief, though, is that HP won't publicise the location of its 10 pickup centres. Its press release proclaims that they are in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast and the Central Coast, but to actually find out where you need to ring or email its collection provider. TES-AMM is located in Wetherill Park, so I'd guess that's where the Sydney location will be.

Since when was the location of recycling centres a national secret? And given the geographic spread of cities in Australia, wouldn't it be reasonable to at least indicate a suburb so people can plan any drop-off excursions more effectively? Wouldn't that be a more green approach?

Lifehacker contacted HP to try and get clarification on why takeback locations weren't information that could be freely shared on the interwebs, but everyone was apparently too busy slurping greenwash to take our calls. If we do hear anything else, we'll let you know.

UPDATE: HP eventually got back to us, and said that the requirement to ring or email was firstly to ensure that equipment being returned was valid for the program, and secondly to ensure that out-of-date lists weren't published online. The first makes the scheme sound suspiciously narrow, and the second suggests that the whole ability to change sites quickly hasn't quite sunk in. But there you go.

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