ReBOOT is a project which aims to reduce waste by finding a new use for obsolete but serviceable computing equipment and extracting value from equipment or components that would normally be treated as waste.
It also aims, in the longer term, to create opportunities for work experience and training. The project was set up by Moray Voluntary Service Organisation (MVSO) with help and funding from the Moray Badenoch and Strathspey (MBSE) LEADER II programme and The Moray Council Landfill Tax Credits. The project has premises in Forres, a project manager, an admin. assistant and a number of enthusiastic volunteers.
The project was officially launched in February 1998.
Where did it all begin?
The idea for the project developed from a chance remark to the Coordinator of MVSO asking what happened to old computers and that computer recycling was something the local voluntary sector could possibly develop.
An outline proposal was prepared and a meeting called to which organisations and individuals with an interest in computers were invited. Those attending the meeting were aware of the problem of storage and disposal of obsolete computers, and were all enthusiastic about the idea of a project to recycle them, which could also address local needs for access to computers.
The consensus of the meeting was that it would be worth developing a project with the following aims.
- to prevent unwanted computers and related technology from being a wasteful storage problem, or from being disposed of unnecessarily into landfill
- to enable local groups to have access to computer technology appropriate to their needs
- to provide computer training for groups and disadvantaged individuals
- to provide opportunities for volunteers to contribute their skills to the community
- to recycle unusable computer components in an environmentally sound way
Information on Recycling
We consulted a report dealing with electric and electronic waste produced by the Lothian and Edinburgh Environmental Partnership (LEEP) to establish the feasibility of the project. We also contacted Waste Watch, a national organisation that promotes action on waste reduction and recycling. Through Waste Watch, MVSO learned of Recycle IT, a church charity in Luton, and Interaction, based in London, which aims to help people to overcome disadvantage, and supports youth clubs.
MVSO was able to access funding from LEADER II programme and Moray Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise Company, which funds innovative projects. MVSO identifies environmental work as a particular aim. It was therefore able to apply to ENTRUST (The regulatory body for landfill tax), to be enrolled as an approved environmental organisation. MVSO was then able to apply for funding for the project from The Moray Council, which like other landfill site operators, is entitled to claim rebate of landfill tax if they make a voluntary contribution to an approved environmental body.
There is evidence that as organisations demand faster and more efficient technology they will donate their obsolete hardware, which can be passed on to individuals and voluntary groups with special need.
MVSO, through ReBOOT, has identified a way of alleviating the growing problem of computer disposal and of simultaneously meeting other local needs. The number of obsolete computers is growing rapidly, and the capacity of landfill sites is declining. Many systems can be put to new uses at relatively little cost, and many of the materials of which computers are made have a value if they can be salvaged. Many local individuals and organisations have particular needs, which can be met if they have access to serviceable computers, even if they are unable to match the performance of the latest computer systems. Making computers available for reuse can provide opportunities for work experience and training for local unemployed people.
For further information, contact:
9 Greshop Road
Greshop Industrial Estate
FORRES IV36 2GU
Tel: 01309 671681
Fax: 01309 671681
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