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Each year about 40 million metric tons of electronic waste end up in the world’s landfills. Old computers, mobile phones and other e-waste contain toxic materials, which can negatively impact the environment and public health. As part of its corporate sustainability efforts, NSF is looking for opportunities to donate and reuse these items instead.
NSF Sustainability Manager Seth Epstein and his team saw an opportunity to reuse the computers, but NSF’s security policy requires all hard drives on company-owned computers to be destroyed before disposal. “Working together with our IT, Legal, Accounting and Finance, and Facilities teams, we found a solution that satisfied our IT security policies and allowed the computers to remain useable,” Epstein said.
NSF collaborated with Comprenew, an NSF-certified nonprofit electronic waste recycling organization, to prepare 156 laptops and 16 desktop computers for donation to Ypsilanti Community Schools in Michigan, a district where 65% of students receive free or reduced lunches and 13% of students are homeless.
“With a stressed budget, Ypsilanti Community Schools has not been able to update its aging hardware and NSF has been looking for ways to more responsibility manage our electronic waste,” Epstein said. “By strengthening our community relationships, we are able to find ways to give new life to this equipment and help support schools.”
Based on the success of this effort, NSF plans to look for other opportunities to make computer donations to schools and community organizations in its 56 locations around the world.