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At Adelante DiverseIT, St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t only mean wearing green, but taking steps to live and work “green”, as well.

Americans throw away approximately 142,000 computers every day (www.helpsadventure.com), and according to www.earth911.com, 9.4 million tons of e-waste a year. Adelante DiverseIT Program Coordinator Jordan Robinson and his team are part of the solution to this major problem. DiverseIT keeps computers out of the waste stream by refurbishing them and finding new users for those computers, both individuals and other nonprofit organizations.

Jordan considers the value of DiverseIT to be a “triple win” for the community – keeping computers out of the waste stream, providing job training for people often excluded from the IT workforce, and providing refurbished computers to people with disabilities and nonprofit organizations that need them.

DiverseIT doesn’t just recycle computers, but takes it one step further by reusing these donated computers and giving them a brand new life. “We are proud to be the King of ‘Frankenbuilds’. A device must die multiple times before we will give up,” says Jordan. The DiverseIT team thinks of each computer as a puzzle. “We have to first ask ourselves: “Does it get power? If it does, then does it have video? If so, it’s safe to assume we can put an operating system on it.”

Two DiverseIT employees, with a computer in the process of refurbishing in between them. A sign with the DiverseIT logo hangs above them.
A couple of our DiverseIT employees showing off their hard work.

Let’s not forget these computers don’t just help the environment. They also help the community. “We keep computers out of the landfill,” Jordan said, “and then, by donating them, people can access their dreams, whether they are looking for a job, furthering their education, or pursing other endeavors.”

Jordan estimates DiverseIT receives over 2,000 computers a year. These donations to DiverseIT are tax deductible; donors are offered a receipt they can use for tax write-off purposes. Both individuals and organizations can donate their computers. In fact, the success of DiverseIT depends on both corporate and private donations.

Re-use is important. It keeps numerous hazardous chemicals from being introduced into the environment. Also, manufacturing just one computer and monitor requires a staggering amount of resources: 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water.  (www.rubiconglobal.com)

DiverseIT can work with multiple operating systems, accepting computers running Windows, Mac, or Linux. They prefer computers 4 years old or newer, but they will take any computer, even if it’s 5 or more years old. They have a preference primarily because DiverseIT is a Microsoft registered re-furbisher and, if the system is older, they may not be able to install Windows. If a system is too old, it can be used for parts or possible sold on eBay to fund the DiverseIT program.

Currently DiverseIT does not take other electronics like cell phones—though they can service them. They can also fix computers for a reasonable cost and will soon open a repair shop to do more repairs and training.

If you are interested in giving your old computer a second chance, your data is in good hands with DiverseIT. Adelante’s team uses a Department of Defense standard to zero out data, ensuring donors’ privacy.

The team at DiverseIT is truly setting a green example this St. Patrick’s Day.

If you are looking to donate your computer, or know a person with a disability who needs one, please contact us at DiverseIT@GoAdelante.org or (505)341-7166.