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Monday, Aug. 4, 2008 | 06:11 PM AT
Computers are a little like supermodels, aren't they. Incredibly desirable for an incredibly short time before they're replaced by a younger and prettier model. Let's face it, the entire computer industry is based on the idea that what's top of the line today is probably going to be obsolete in a few years. And it's a pain, because there isn't much of a market out there for an old computer these days.
This is a big, big deal. Not just as a space issue.
And that's the short list. And, as is obvious, some of those metals are rather precious. Mining them causes immense ecological degradation. So why not just save them and reuse them? Hey, I'll go one better-- why not leave them INSIDE the computers and send those computers to people who don't care that they don't have the latest Mac OS?
So here's how Microrecyccoop works. (By the way, the name is a contraction of the words Micro--in its community sense, Recycling (obvious) and Co-operation--because it's a non-profit international organization).
1. Your old computer: If you have a computer that you'd like to have recycled, make sure it meets the following criteria:
The reason for this is simple. Unlike most recycling companies, which ship e-waste to the third world and make it someone else's problem, Microrecyccoop actually ships fully functional, high-quality computers to developing countries like Africa and Haiti. More on that in a minute.
Usually, if you just have one or two items, you'll have to go over to their Avenue du Parc workshop and drop them off. Here are the company's co-ordinates:
If you're a business with more than 10 items to donate, they'll arrange a pickup. So it's really easy
4. Privacy: Don't worry, Microrecyccoop erases your hard drive to protect your privacy.
5. Labelling: The computers are then specially labelled according to their capabilities. That way, heavy duty, fast computers can end up in universities or businesses and slower computers that have less RAM can end up matched to less demanding users like grade school kids. The labels also state the name of the technician that worked on the computer so the circle of accountability is complete. I mean, who DOES this? Cool hey?
6. Linux: As any computer user knows, the most expensive stuff is the software. MRC uses rights-free Linux on its machines.
7. The end user: (This is where the violins start to play) Your old computer will help women entrepreneurs, school children, university students, small business owners and community groups learn, connect and get independent...
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