Saved from junkyard

Program aims to recycle old computers

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Jack Anderson hopes he hauls in a truckload of trash Saturday. Not garbage, really, but old computers that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

As a technician at Solutions Oriented Systems, Anderson has spearheaded a program that reuses working computer components and recycles those that have seen their last days.

A community collection is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot next to the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.

"Computers are a temporary technology, and people have a lot of stuff," Anderson said. "If it's not too old, we can get it into the hands of someone who needs a computer."

The program aims to refurbish computer parts and use them to construct computers that can be donated, or sold at a reduced rate, to those who may not otherwise be able to afford a system.

Although SOS has been doing some of this for Craig families, the volume of computers that the business receives throughout the year has become overwhelming.

So Anderson and SOS owner Mike Lauson have started taking truckloads of equipment down to A to Z Computer Solutions in Cañon City, where owner Jacquie Grant refurbishes old systems and distributes them to families in need throughout Colorado.

She has led programs in correctional facilities to build inmates' technology skills and keep Department of Corrections machines up-to-date, and started this program, because not many organizations were providing this service to outlying towns in the state.

She said it was important to reuse all working components by combining them to produce a functioning machine and recycle nonworking parts properly.

Fees will be collected from those who drop off electronic equipment at Saturday's collection, because of the costs to transport and recycle the materials.

They are as follows: TV sets up to 52 inches, $20; monitors and all-in-one PCs and laptops, $5; printers, fax machines, scanners, all-in-one print/fax/copy machines and transistor radios, $1.50; computers, $1; cell phones, mice, keyboards, computer speakers, pagers and computer pieces and parts, free.

Grant and Anderson hope that community members and people from surrounding towns will take part in Saturday's collection and promote the safe disposal of electronic equipment.

"I'm a tree hugger by nature, and I don't want to leave it for my kids," Grant said.

"I have children, and I don't want to leave the mess for them to clean up."

For more information about the computer collection, call Anderson at SOS at 824-7414.

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