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THE MÖBIUS PROJECT

 

Since its opening in June 2000, Möbius has recycled computers from hundreds of individuals and organisations (see www.mobius2000.org.uk 'hall of fame' for further details) enabling over 450 individuals and organisations to receive computers at low cost. 

 

Background

 

A six month Pilot Project was funded by The Highland Council, Shell Better Britain and Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise to explore the feasibility of redirecting computers from landfill.  Following the success of this Pilot Project, during which 50 computers were recycled back into the community, funding was obtained from The Highland Council, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise and The Rural Challenge Fund to continue the project for a further three years.

 

Over the three year period that the project has been running nearly 5,000 pieces of equipment have been redirected from landfill and 350 refurbished computers have been allocated to organisations and individuals. Möbius has also helped volunteers to gain knowledge of computer hardware and software.

 

Dumping redundant computers into landfill sites is not only wasteful it presents a hazard to the environment. The potential for any contaminates contained in computers to leech into the underground water supply is high and as some of these contaminates are known to be carcinogenic the dangers are obvious.

 

Möbius Sutherland Computer Recycling Group, is a non-profit making charity based in Golspie and aims to go some way towards overcoming this problem.  By refurbishing redundant computers donated by organisations and individuals, Möbius is not only helping the environment, it is giving charities, community groups and individuals who meet set criteria, the chance to purchase a computer at low cost.  A further spin-off is the training undertaken by the volunteers who give their time to the project.

 

 The objectives of the Möbius Project are threefold:

  • To advance the education of the inhabitants of Sutherland by training volunteers in Information Technology skills for both the use of computer facilities and the refurbishment of IT equipment.
  • To protect the natural environment by reusing and recycling otherwise redundant, but serviceable computers, and in doing so minimise waste and reducing landfill.
  • To supply refurbished, recycled computers to individuals, community groups and voluntary organisations that have a demonstrable need for such facilities but have limited resources.

Because of the sensitive information stored on some computers security is a serious issue with Möbius and every computer undergoes a rigorous refurbishment procedure before being released.  This includes wiping the hard drive to US MOD standards using specialised software; a procedure that ensures data is irrecoverable.  The computers are then thoroughly cleaned, tested for electrical faults and loaded with software.  Clients have a choice of three kit specifications ranging from free to £80.00.  A choice of software (at cost price) is also available, as is the fitting of a modem and speakers if required. When available printers are also on offer.

 

Equipment that is beyond refurbishment is transported to Glasgow to be broken down into its component materials.  Plastics are granulated for reuse, while circuit boards, covers and frames are processed for the metals they contain.  VDU screens are granulated and washed to dispose of contaminates such as phosphor and strontium.

 

As well as IT equipment Möbius recycles mobile phones and toner cartridges.

 

A lockable bow is provided by the front door for single deliveries of computers outside normal office hours - ring 01408 634163 for combination lock details.

 

During 2003/04 Möbius, in conjunction with Fujitsu Ltd and The Highland Council, have refurbished and distributed nearly 1000 computers to worthy causes.

 

The project employs four full-time and one part-time staff.

 

For further information, contact:
Peter Barns
Project Manager
Tel: 01408 634163
Website:
www.mobius2000.org.uk


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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210