Recycle your old computer Saturday


Independence First, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities to live independently, wants local companies to celebrate Earth Week by recycling their old and gently used computers at a computer recycling drive Saturday, April 17.
The drive will be held at IndependenceFirst, 540 S. First St. from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“This time of year, a lot of people are doing a spring cleaning of their office or their homes, and a lot of times people don’t know what to do with their old computers,” Carol Voss, marketing director for IndependenceFirst. “This is a great way to give back to the people who need them and at the same time do something good for the earth.”
According to Voss, computer donations are tax deductible and help people with disabilities receive computers who wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
If an organization has a large number of computers they wish to donate they can call IndependenceFirst to arrange a different time for pickup.
Computers donated to IndependenceFirst must have a minimum of a Pentium III processor, a 17 inch monitor and at least 256 MB of RAM memory, even though 512 MB is preferred.
About 250 computers a year are given out to people with disabilities who need them, Voss said.
“It’s really a win win for everyone,” Voss said. “We have a long waiting list of people in need of computers, and it gives a business or individual the opportunity to “de-clutter” their home or office and safely get rid of additional waste.”
Computers that are brought to the organization go through a strict process that completely wipes out the existing hard drive, Voss said.
“We have a very strict procedure that our staff and pre-qualified volunteers go through,” Voss said. “So strict that we receive computers from government entities and large corporations, no one needs to be worried about security issues, but if they are we have other options for them that would still allow them to donate.”
According to Voss, companies or individuals worried about security can remove the hard drive of the computers themselves, or request that the hard drive be removed completely and replaced with a new one.

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