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Retired Pentium PCs wanted for developing world (not landfill)

Bid to save 25,000 PCs from early graves

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Computer Aid international has launched a new appeal for companies and individuals to send it defunct PCs to be reconditioned and distributed to schools and community groups in the developing world.

Last year, the British charity refurbished and shipped 1,000 old PCs every month – a figure it believes it can double in 2004 with increased donations from large corporations and public sector organisations. Computer Aid aims to collect 25,000 old Pentium machines in 2004.

Tony Roberts, Computer Aid’s chief executive, points out that his charity could actually help companies comply with the requirements of the data protection act, as its machines have their hard drives wiped to Department of Defense standards before they are re-distributed.

According to Roberts, nearly 1.5 million PCs end up on landfill sites across the UK every year. He argues that there is a pressing need for re-use of computers even without the environmental concerns. "The fact remains that 99 per cent of children in the developing world still leave school without ever having seen or touched a computer and while organisations such as SchoolNet Africa are trying to address this issue, the cost of new PCs in the developing world is prohibitive," he said.

You can find out more on the website.

When the WEEE (Waste Electronicand Electrical Equipment) Directive becomes law in the UK in August this year, it will be illegal for any electrical or electronic equipment to be dumped in landfill sites. However, responsibility for collection and recycling of goods will lie with the manufacturers. ®

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