Donations of PC monitors for use in schools and hospitals in developing countries are at a "critical shortage", according to IT charity Computer Aid International.
Computer Aid, which provides a countrywide collection service for donations of old IT equipment, said it is receiving only 30% of the 2,500 TFT (thin film transistor) and CRT PC monitors a month needed to meet demand from schools, hospitals and charities in Africa and Latin America.
"Hundreds of schools in Chile are waiting to receive computers and, while we currently have over 4,000 refurbished base units ready and waiting to go, we don't have the monitors to match them with," said David Barker, CEO of Computer Aid.
Barker blamed extended refresh cycles and organisations' longer use of PC monitors for the shortage in donations. "While this is definitely a good thing as it means that companies are extending the life of their IT equipment, it has resulted in a critical shortage in donated screens to Computer Aid," he said.
The charity wants IT managers to donate TFT or CRT monitors, as well as base units, laptops, keyboards, mice and cables, rather than recycling unwanted hardware.
"Rather than recycling your ICT and especially your monitors, please consider donating your equipment to Computer Aid so that we can send your unwanted PCs to those who need them the most," he added.
Businesses wishing to donate their PC need to contact Computer Aid to arrange collection. The charity wipes data from all hardware using OnTrack Eraser software in accordance with UK standards. It also takes legal responsibility for the data and hardware donated.
All computers, servers and laptops received and processed by Computer Aid International have all data and programs removed at no cost to the donor. Hard disks are overwritten as standard, regardless of whether they have been data wiped previously or not. Computer Aid uses Ontrack Eraser data wiping software approved by the US Department of Defense and UK Communications - Electronics Security Group (CESG). Any hard disk that cannot be overwritten will be destroyed on Computer Aid's premises and then sent to a recycling plant to be melted down and recycled.
Computer Aid assumes full legal liability for all equipment it receives. The charity has public liability insurance, which covers all hardware donated, as well as data wiping insurance.
Computer Aid provides a countrywide collection service. It will ask the donating organisation for a contribution towards the cost of a collection to cover the cost of the driver and van. To enquire about a collection, please contact Computer Aid's PC donations and logistics officer, Jon, on 020 8361 5540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Computer Aid