Temple recycling gets national attention

September 15, 2009

They don't go to the trash heap but instead to people who can't afford new ones...while also helping to protect the environment.

Temple University's award-winning computer recycling center is 6 years old now and dedicated to protecting the environment and getting many of these discarded computer parts back up and useful again.

It is a full time operation now and a national model unrivaled by other universities.

Since 2003 the program has taken in more than 27-thousand old university computers, monitors, screens and printers, more than 375 tons of e-waste that would have been headed for a landfill.

"What we have found over the last several years is that a lot of these computers can be reused," said Temple University Vice President Timothy O'Rourke.

Some 9-thousand computers have been recycled at Temple, refurbished and are back in use, purchased by students at lower prices and in the case of 1200 restored computers donated to community based non-profits from churches to community centers.

The stated mission:

"Data security is number one, diversion of resources away from landfills getting them into the hands of students, faculty, staff and people who may not be able to afford a new computer in the first place," explained Jonathan Latko of the Temple Computer Recycling Program.

The Norris Homes Community Center, located adjacent to Temple's campus, is one of the non-profits that have received more than a dozen of those refurbished computers. They're in use by school children and adults as well. The university's recycling center likes to say they're giving back to the community.

"It helps people who might not have access to a computer at home or who might have a computer at home and doesn't have the Internet," said Lisa Gass, Norris Homes Center Director.

At any given time there are an estimated 14-thousand in use on this campus.

Instead of letting them get unceremoniously dumped in the trash when they get older and replaced thousands are being rehabilitated here and given a new lease on life.

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