Charity Computer Aid International plans to increase the number of refurbished PCs it ships to not-for-profit organisations worldwide from 5,000 to 50,000 a year by 2006 and is appealing for more donations.
"There is enormous demand for refurbished PCs overseas," said Jaf Shah, the charity's marketing and fundraising manager. Shah said the charity has attracted more funding and increased capacity at its London premises to help achieve its goal.
One organisation that has teamed up with Computer Aid is University College London, whose decommissioned PCs are refurbished by the charity and donated to not-for-profit organisations worldwide instead of being disposed of in landfill sites or sent for costly recycling.
The university has disposed of 700 PCs this way since the scheme began two years ago.
UCL has over 10,000 PCs and the constant need for more powerful machines means a maximum upgrade cycle of three years, said Brigitte Picot, divisional co-ordinator for UCL's education and information support division.
The university pays about £60 for a van-load of about 150 PCs to be picked up and a small cost to cover any that need to be recycled.
Computer Aid removes all unwanted PCs but only machines of Pentium standard can be refurbished. The ones it cannot use it sends to its recycling partner, Silver Lining, which strips the 95% of parts that can be recycled and disposes of the rest.
The charity uses Sanitiser software to wipe data from the machines free of charge.
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How to donate
Computer Aid International is again appealing to Computer Weekly readers to donate PCs which should by Pentium or Pentium-standard. Last year Computer Weekly readers donated more than 500 PCs to the appeal. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 020-7281 0091.