Pop up shop proves IT’s a real success

City residents have donated almost 1.5 tonnes of unwanted tech to help charities and people in the community.
The council and its partners opened a ‘tech take-back pop up shop’ in the city centre allowing people to declutter and safely dispose of their old and unwanted computers, laptops, phones, cameras and other tech.
The shop was open for just 10 days, but in that time 420 people visited and a total of 1,036 items were dropped off, including 84 mobile phones, 123 laptops, 53 computers, 201 USB memory sticks and hundreds of cables, with every item having a free, professional data wipe.
The tech, amounting to 1.44 tonnes in weight, is now being sorted, ready to be given to charities to distribute or sold to people less able to afford new tech. 
If the equipment is beyond repair, it is being dismantled for material recycling. If all the tech donated is reused or recycled, there will be carbon equivalent saving of 4.5 tonnes of CO2e - equivalent to the energy needed to produce and cook approximately 1,294 cheeseburgers or produce 44,440 plastic carrier bags.
Councillor Saoirse Horan, deputy chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The public response to our first Tech-Takeback pop up shop has been amazing, and the benefit to those who have dropped off items is brilliant as all their data is completely and properly erased by professionals or dismantled and disposed of. 
“Each item donated also benefits charities, people who are less able to afford new tech or the environment as absolutely everything is reused or recycled.” 
Cllr Horan added: “The next pop up shop is being planned for some time in January, which will help people declutter their old tech if they have received new tech for Christmas.”
The shop, at 13 Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, was the first of five pop ups that will take place in the next year. The next is planned for January, with others linked to key dates during 2018, with all times and venues to be announced.
The pop-up shops are being run by Brighton & Hove City Council; Freegle, the free online reuse network; circular economy environment specialists SOENECS; and computer data experts EraseMyData.
Dr David Greenfield, co-founder of Tech-Takeback and managing director of SOENECS, said: “It is clear that the public want a service like Tech-Takeback provides, as many people told us they had been waiting ages for an opportunity like this to safely erase their data and enable reuse of their unwanted tech." 
The shops are 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.