EARTH DAY SPECIAL — An estimated 196 million to 230 million computers are in use in the United States today, each designed to last more than a decade. Yet technology is advancing so rapidly that users often replace their computers just three or four years after buying them. Often people either store or throw out their old computers, not realizing how their equipment could benefit others. If we refurbish just 10% of these PCs, we could provide more than 3 1/2 million computers for schools and low income families and eliminate the digital divide by the end of the decade. The other problem is that throwing out computers and electronics is a waste of valuable materials that could be used to make new products. Learn how you can help. . . .


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spearheaded Pass It On Week from April 16- April 23 with a goal of collecting 100,000 unused computers to pass on to schools. Big partners like Best Buy, Dell, Cingular, NEC and Staples have over the years collected millions of pounds of electronics by joining with EPA to Plug-in to eCycling.

The EPA’s eCycling program hosts a resource page with dozens of links to groups and non-profits that can recycle or reuse your old computer, cell phone and other equipment. Of particular interest is the Recycle for Breast Cancer program that invests in a cure with proceeds from your Palm Pilot, ink cartridges, business telephones, televisions, digital cameras and any other thing you can think of.

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