Giving UDC's Laptops a New Lease of Life
05 September 2023
Until recently, UDC Finance had a process for destruction of IT stock (laptops in particular) which involved a third party. It was a documented process but there was always scrap left over once the third party picked out the recyclable bits and precious metals. This leftover scrap went to landfill.
Ever on the lookout for a sustainability angle, the team at Datacom found us a far better option.
Datacom engaged with Zeal, a charitable organisation, that teaches young people how to resurrect these old machines and give them a new lease of life. They learn to fix and take care of the old laptops then all young people who complete the programme get to take home their own donated device.
To date, 240 young people have graduated this programme with their own free device, with a further 40 devices fixed in class and gifted to other young people. That means over 600kg of e-waste diverted from landfill. 99% of participants say they’re more skilled and confident in tech as a result of this programme.
Here's what some young people said about Zeal’s recent refurbish-a-thon event, where over 100 young people learnt to refurbish laptops:
“Nothing could make today better because today was one of the best days of my life”
“The techy stuff was nice and very cool people”
Here's the process in a nutshell:
All computers received from UDC first go through a Blanco disk wipe process. This is fully documented with a receipt, including S/No, of all machines is returned.
All computers have their asset number and any other identifying stickers removed. They are then taken to Zeal.
Zeal checks each machine. If a machine has slipped through any of the checks, it is returned to Datacom.
Zeal also checks the electrical safety of the machine prior to making it available to the kids to repair.
Datacom's first donation of laptops took place in June 2023. Jiri Bazik, Datacom's Logistics Lead, sent UDC the following message:
"I have some fantastic news for you; we did it! I have [tracked] down all the schools and as of today we have met with the youth development charity Zeal and completed [the] first donation. I can't wait to send you all pictures and great stories from all these kids, how much you helped them and what it means for them.”
Congratulations goes to Jiri and his team for their tenacity. They worked hard to find a programme like this and put in a huge effort to ensure that Zeal were the right fit.
Chris Winder, Zeal’s project manager sent the following message to Datacom:
“We’re over the moon to be partnering with Jiri and the Datacom and UDC whānau. Right from the word go, you’ve shown strong alignment in values and aspirations. You wouldn’t believe the talent there is out here in West Auckland! You are all truly investing in the future tech leaders of Aotearoa. Supporters like Datacom and UDC are helping to take this project and turn it into a movement. We hope other tech leaders are inspired by what you’ve done and want to help too!”
Zeal has started collaborating with community organisations in South Auckland on more tech stuff and is also looking into expanding their impact to their other regions. We wish them the best of luck.