Recycling refurbished computers and other used electronics is a growing practice among sustainable enterprises. The idea is not only simple, but also socially responsible, and economically and environmentally friendly. The benefits are numerous: everyone in the community wins when local organizations offer recycled computers and electronics.
How It Works…
- Community members and businesses donate used computers and electronics.
- Well-trained professionals are hired to break down components, wipe hard drives and scrub data, and reformat and refurbish equipment.
- The like-new, refurbished equipment is then sold to people in need, schools and job training organizations at a much lower price than a new purchase.
A Growing, Sustainable Practice
Independence First does it. Goodwill and Dell Computers are doing it together. PC Rebuilders and Recyclers (PCRR)? It’s all they do! We’re seeing the recycled computer industry surge, especially in the non-profit sector - and for good reason. These organizations are able to sustain their businesses (whether the practice is only a portion of or their entire business model), while providing people in the community with jobs and job training, and therefore livelihood and a brighter future.
Recycling means Real Benefits
The benefits to these recycling programs are numerous – talk about positive influence!
Gettin’ Green The environmental benefits to recycling computers and electronics are monumental. On a basic level, the environmental impact is reduced due to a decrease in the amount of raw materials extracted from natural resources, many of them non-renewable. (Not to mention a reduced need for the social irresponsibility created due to conflict mineral mining, essential to the production of most consumer electronics.)
On the back end, computer recycling reduces the quantity of landfill items, which is always positive, of course. Computers contain a variety of extremely harmful chemicals, like lead, mercury and PCB’s.
“PA studies determined that before lead acid batteries were banned from landfills, consumer electronics contributed 27% of all lead in municipal solid waste. Furthermore, after lead acid batteries were removed from the waste stream, consumer electronics accounted for 75% of lead in MSW, but composed less than 1% of the waste stream. Hence, by diverting a small portion of the waste stream, landfills can accomplish significant levels of heavy metal abatement.”
Efficiency + Sustainability = Value
- Organizational Value: Increases financial performance of the organization due to low set-up costs and full-circle returns. Quick and easy turn-around per each machine refurbished. Creates a truly sustainable revenue stream for non-profits – and that means less money coming in from the tax base or from grant foundations.
- Community Value: Provides jobs within the organization. Plus, encourages area workforce development by providing affordable computer, job training and schooling options and alternatives to those who cannot afford new electronics.
- Economic Value: Basic computers are available to individuals, schools and non-profits for less than $200, and sometimes for as low as $50. Some companies even offer warranties on refurbished equipment that are nearly as good as (or sometimes better than) the original manufacturer warranty!
Contact any of the aforementioned organizations to donate your used computers and/or used electronics today. It’s a great way to benefit our environment, our non-profits and our communities.