Computer Reuse – it’s the new and improved way to recycle.
By Charles Brennick
You received a new computer for Christmas and now you want to recycle your old one. But there is a better way to get rid of your computer than recycling it, reuse it. Fortunately, InterConnection, the state’s largest non-profit computer refurbisher, specializes in computer reuse.
Computer reuse involves erasing data from the hard drive of a computer and testing and replacing components to make it functional. Recycling, on the other hand, involves shredding the computer into parts to extract raw materials such as copper, plastic and steel.
Computer reuse provides opportunity to someone in need. Computers refurbished at InterConnection’s reuse center in Seattle are donated to unemployed and low-income individuals. Anyone who completes their computer hardware training program receives valuable job skills and a free computer. Every week up to twenty people start the program and this year 910 participated.
Most computers refurbished by InterConnection are sent to schools and non profit organizations in developing countries where access to technology is extremely limited. InterConnection has partnered with development organizations like Peace Corps and World Vision to distribute their computers to organizations in countries that include Cameroon, Uganda, El Salvador and Chile. To date, they have shipped over 20,000 computers to people in need of technology around the world.
Many local businesses like Nintendo and Alaska Airlines have chosen to reuse their surplus computers through InterConnection. Businesses, like individual donors, are extremely concerned about the data on their hard drives. InterConnection wipes all hard drives for free and for a nominal fee they will either provide certified data destruction or use their onsite hard drive destruction device they affectionately call ‘The Crushinator”.
InterConnection accepts all computers and monitors, working or not, for free. If they can’t reuse the computer they will properly recycle it at their facility in Seattle.
Anyone can drop off computer equipment at their center in Seattle and businesses can schedule free pick-up if they have at least three computers. InterConnection even offers a way for people who live outside of Washington to donate. They will pay shipping costs for anyone who wants to donate a laptop.
For more information about reusing or recycling your surplus computers please call InterConnection at (206) 633-1517 or visit their website at www.interconnection.org. The center is located at 2222 N. Pacific St., Seattle, WA, 98103. Hours of operation are 10-6 Monday–Friday and 10-5 on Saturday.