Reusing Resources Wisely


Computers 4 Africa
If you’ve been fortunate enough to receive a new computer for Christmas or you’ve simply replaced your PC or laptop, please consider giving your old computer to Computers 4 Africa. (NB It must be 8 years old or newer, as they need to have a decent service life left once they arrive in Africa.)

Computers 4 Africa is a charity based at Aylesford in Kent, that securely data-wipes and refurbishes old computer equipment for educational use in Africa. Each donated computer helps to enhance the education of up to 24 students a year, providing increased opportunity for breaking out of the poverty cycle.

The computers are sent to education and welfare projects across many countries in Africa. In addition to PCs and laptops the company takes monitors, computer accessories (mouse, keyboard, power lead), as well as projectors, operating system CD’s and smart phones with chargers. All donated items must be in working order.

Their website www.computers4africa.org.uk provides further information and detail of how to donate or you can phone on 03000 112233.

One of the ideals of the company is to promote reuse and re-purposing. Producing a new desktop computer uses approximately 240kg of fossil fuels, 22kg of chemicals and 1,500kg of water. Reuse of a computer reduces the environmental impact of its production by extending its life. This is more environmentally sound than recycling, where the computers are broken down into their constituents parts for use in something else, which is far better than landfill, but less energy efficient than reuse. If your old PC is not suitable for Computers 4 Africa, why not see if anyone else you know can reuse it, once it has been data-wiped.

Tools with a Mission
In many countries of the world people have few skills, little education and no means of earning a living. A switch from aid dependency to self-sufficiency is impossible without help. Tools With A Mission (TWAM) exists to provide that help. TWAM have volunteer collectors all over the UK who collect unwanted tools from donors. The tools are then refurbished i.e. cleaned of dirt and rust, and sharpened etc. However TWAM cannot carry out major repairs to broken tools.

TWAM take almost all types of hand tools as they make up kits suitable for carpenters, electricians, vehicle mechanics, plumbers, builders, ground workers, leather workers and shoe repairers. They can also use gardening tools, but not those just meant for lawn care, and a wide range of power tools, for use on both 240v and 110v supplies. They take sewing or knitting machines and haberdashery items. They also take computers with Pentium 4 processor or later, laser printers, scanners, networking devices and parts such as CD/DVD drives, hard disc drives, mice, keyboards etc. Details of the tools accepted and how to get in touch with your nearest collector are on their website www.twam.uk or by phone 01473 210220 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm).

 

Household Waste Disposal

If you need to dispose of a very old PC (or almost anything with a plug or batteries, plus fluorescent light tubes and low-energy, long-life light bulbs) that cannot be reused, take it to your local household waste centre’s electrical & electronic equipment collection point for recycling.

Our local sites can be found using Kent County Council‘s website

Repair and reuse is a better use of resources than disposal, so please consider TWAM or Computers 4 Africa for unwanted working items. Donate your old computer or tools to change someone’s life, and provide a Happy New Year for them!

Adapted with permission from an article by Teresa Redfern, Wye Church Eco-congregation working group.

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