22 November 2017

Old tech gear? Give IT a new lease of life

Residents are being given the chance to declutter and safely dispose of their old computers, laptops, phones, cameras and other tech while helping others.

Anyone with unwanted technology can bring it to a special Tech-Takeback pop-up shop where all data and information will be safely erased before being given a new lease of life and reused.

The tech will be given to charities to distribute, sold to people less able to afford new tech or, if the equipment is beyond repair, it will be dismantled for material recycling.

The shop, the first of five over the next year, will open at 13 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE on Black Friday, 24 November between 10am – 7pm, for 10 days.

All the pop-up shops will be run by Brighton & Hove City Council; Freegle, the free online reuse network; circular economy environment specialists SOENECS and computer data experts EraseMy Data.

Councillor Saoirse Horan, deputy chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We really want to encourage and help people declutter and dispose of their old equipment safely while supporting those less able to purchase new technology.

“The council, along with its partners, will give old tech a second life and enable local charities to reuse or sell it cheaply within the local community.”

Dr David Greenfield, Co-founder of Tech-Takeback and Managing Director of SOENECS, said: “Recent reports show that personal data security fears are preventing householders from disposing of unwanted or unused electrical equipment. Tech-TakeBack will allow Brighton & Hove residents to safely deposit their old tech for reuse.”

People can either drop in to drop off their equipment, or register first at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HNDYDKQ

The council estimates it will collect more than 15 tonnes of small ICT during the project.

Cllr Horan added: “We all have old cameras, smartphones, laptops, hard drives, memory sticks and other devices lying in drawers and cupboards collecting dust. We’re often reluctant to throw it away because it could contain important personal information like bank and credit card details, passwords, contacts and pictures.

“What could be better than being able to declutter, help the environment, give your tech new life and provide another person with technology, while knowing everything will be safely, expertly and freely data wiped when you hand it in.”  

People wanting a data wipe can have one for free, pay £5 and receive a Government-approved certificate, or £10 for the certificate with £5 going to a local charity.

The shop is being sponsored by special funding after the city council won a £25,000 WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Local Project grant under the national Distributor Takeback Scheme.

Black Friday was chosen as the day to open the shop as it’s one of the highest tech consumer-purchasing days of the year, and results in many items of old tech being stored in drawers or thrown away irresponsibly.

Items including mobile/smart phones, desk top computers, laptops, tablets, games consoles, external hard drives, USB memory sticks, monitor screens, cables, keyboards, mouse, cameras and video cameras will all be welcome.

Anyone dropping off equipment will also be entered into a free prize draw where five lucky prize-drawer winners will receive a £10 voucher for the Green Rewards Eco Shop https://www.greenrewards.co.uk/products

The funding also allows the council and its partners to set up another four one week pop-up shops in the city over the next 12 months including post-Christmas, the end of the university summer term 2018, next autumn and pre-Christmas 2018.