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Microsoft launches PC-rebuilding scheme

Schools and charities get old biz PCs

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Microsoft Ireland has launched a scheme aimed at keeping PCs out of landfills and re-building them for use by schools and charities.

The Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher (MAR) programme, which was officially launched at the Rehab Recycle facility in Tallaght on Thursday, provides companies with a means of disposing of unused or end-of-life computer equipment which can then be serviced, re-conditioned, and installed with new software.

These computers can then be donated to local non-profit organisations or educational institutions that might not otherwise be able to afford such technology.

There are already four companies in Ireland actively refurbishing computers as part of the programme and Microsoft is currently recruiting new firms to join the initiative so that increased numbers of PCs can be re-built and passed on.

The initiative allows eligible refurbishers to install a range of Microsoft software on the computers for suitable recipients. To ensure that the machines are useful to charities and schools, the programme requires that any donated machines have a minimum specification. Refurbishers are also provided with special certificates of authenticity (COAs), and Eligible Recipient agreements from Microsoft.

Under the MAR programme, over 1,000 computers have been re-distributed to schools and charities to date. Microsoft Ireland, which employs over 1,200 people at its Sandyford campus, has given over 400 of its own computers to the initiative.

"The MAR programme promotes the reuse of technology and provides a ready supply of computers for charities and schools," said Tom Murphy, head of public relations and community affairs at Microsoft Ireland.

"Already a number of leading environmentally-conscious companies are availing of the MAR programme and our aim is that as many companies as possible look at the programme as a realistic alternative to scrapping unused technology while knowing that the donated computers will have a valuable extended life in a growing number of charities and schools," he added.

The initiative has received the approval of WEEE Ireland, the national compliance scheme for electronic recycling. To date WEEE Ireland has financed over 200 of these refurbished computers in its "schools awareness campaign" that's operated by Rehab, and Leo Donavan, the organisation's chief executive was fully of praise for the programme.

"WEEE Ireland is delighted with the contribution from the Microsoft MAR programme in providing the software to allow the economic reuse of these computers. Our schools awareness campaign provides the opportunity to support the MAR programme, provides a market for the refurbished computers, and educates the schools about electronic recycling," he said.

Companies or individuals interested in finding out more about the MAR programme can visit here.

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