By Dominique Asher
In recent times, many of us have found ourselves more reliant than ever on technology. One local company is going out of its way to take donated computer parts and recycle them so they can be used by those in need.
Founded in 2014, eSmart Recycling collects donated old technology and computer parts, which later are refurbished and revamped and go out into the community to nonprofits, schools and more that are in need of computers.
The organization was kick-started when Tony Selvaggio, founder and CEO of eSmart Recycling, was approached by a nonprofit in need of ‘affordable computers.’ At that moment, Selvaggio only offered recycling services to IT companies and sold the refurbished computers.
However, instead of selling computers to the nonprofit, Selvaggio and his team restored 10 computers picked up through the recycling services and donated them.
“Since that moment, almost 2,000 computers have gone to over 50 organizations all around the world,” said Selvaggio.
Residents can stop by and drop off their old technology at recycling drives in different parts of the Tampa Bay area; upcoming drives and information are always posted on the eSmart Recycling website.
“Each drive is partnered with a local organization that has ties to the community, in order to support the local residents and help with proper recycling,” said Selvaggio.
Every type of electronic, with the exception of CRT TVs and monitors, is welcome to be dropped off as they can be sold, with the revenue going to funding the refurbish and deployment process. Although, old PC computers and laptops are especially helpful as they make up the most of the equipment getting refurbished and given to those who need it the most.
When refurbishing the computers, workers either restore the recycled ones or source equipment from vendors or wholesalers in order to standardize it. In addition, only computers aging from three to five years old are refurbished. A new hard drive is installed in the computer, the latest version of Windows operating system is installed, then tests are run and viola, it’s ready to be deployed to a new home.
On July 25, a drive was held locally at FishHawk Storage. All sorts of technology was donated, which will go to kids and families unable to access electronics. The drive also had curbside and non-contact drop-off so that residents could stay in their vehicles.
All hard drives are shredded in the warehouse, and certifications of data destruction are offered.
To learn more about materials accepted or upcoming drives, go to https://esmartrecycling.com.