The EcoCentre has over the last 6 months been running a pilot scheme to recycle old laptops, which can be either fixed and upgraded and sold back into the community, or broken down into spare parts which can then be used to repair other laptops or upgrade them. The scheme not only reduces the amount of electronic waste going to the dump, but provides a source of income for the EcoCentre as well as a cheap source of parts and working laptops for the Kaitāia community. At some stage in the future it is anticipated we will have a partner who takes the “remains” and extracts the precious metals and rare earths.
Very recently the EcoCentre has attained the lease on the premises next door, which has given us room to expand the scheme and promote it over the wider Kaitāia and Far North area. We will now accept any laptop, regardless of age and condition. It is a big help to us if you make the effort to find any adapters/chargers for the laptop (and any spare ones you have) as these are necessary to test them and sell them if they are repairable.
Once the scheme is up and running, we hope to have a wide variety of RAM (for upgrading your laptops memory and enhancing performance), hard disk drives (to increase storage capacity), screens, batteries and adapters, all available second hand at a fraction of the cost of new parts. We also aim to have a variety of working and tested laptops available, priced between $50 and $200 depending on age and specification. Of course for the scheme to be a success and of value to the community, we need your unused laptops and adapters! You can drop them down at the EcoCentre in Bank Street, just behind Subway, during week days 10 am to 4 pm. There is no cost to drop them off and no restriction on age or condition, but at this stage we are not taking desktop computers, monitors, phones or other electrical equipment. Although once a review is made in a couple of months this may well change and be expanded.
by Collin Roberts