Research carried out this month by Irish charity and social enterprise Camara Education, revealed that almost 50% of Irish organisations are unaware that computer reuse is a more socially and environmentally desirable option than recycling.
The study, the first of its kind in Ireland, sought to shed light on the attitudes of Irish organisations to computer reuse. It further uncovered that 8 out of 10 organisations do not fully understand the social impact that computer reuse can have and just 3 out of 10 organisations consider reuse when disposing of their used IT equipment. Most shockingly, it was revealed that only 1 out of 5 organisations interviewed were aware that computer reuse is a more environmentally responsible option, however were consciously choosing other means of computer disposal.
John Fitzsimons, the CEO of Camara Education commented, “The findings of this study have been both fascinating and disturbing. Ireland has made significant strides in making environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to disposal of paper and plastics for example. Regrettably we have yet to change our attitudes when it comes to computer disposal. If we do, we will not only have an environmental impact but a huge social impact”.
Over 250,000 computers are discarded each year in Ireland, half of which are suitable for reuse. Every computer that Camara reuses gives 21 children digital literacy. Two million children could receive this critical 21st century skill if attitudes change in Ireland.
Camara Education works to improve the quality of education in disadvantaged communities in Ireland, Africa and Jamaica through the reuse of technology. Since 2005, over 35,000 computers have been sent to over 1,650 schools in Africa, Jamaica and Ireland, benefiting over 450,000 children who are now digitally literate. The charity is asking both individuals and companies to please consider the most socially and environmentally viable 0option of reuse when disposing of old IT equipment. Anyone with used desktops, laptops, monitors, keyboards and power leads can donate them to Camara for reuse in education. Camara securely wipes all data on all machines to comply with US DoD standard 5220.22m – an internationally recognised standard.