Have you ever had a printer break down and find out it costs more to fix it than buy a new one? A hard drive fails with sensitive data that you couldn’t erase and had no choice but to destroy it and throw it away? Ink cartridges that are empty? We struggle with these issues every day, and businesses go through their electronics and related items faster than households.
With ink cartridges and toners the problem was not as bad. The Hong Kong Post Office used to have a pick-up service. That shut down not too long ago, then we would call HP directly. The only other option was Friends Of The Earth, who only collect 10 or more ink cartridges/toners and require a filled form. But when our all-in-one printer broke down, it costs just as much to fix it so we decided to buy a new one. Then a hard drive failed. We swapped it with a new one but were stuck with an old drive that we could not access to remove the data. Then a battery in our server died. Then one of our laptops went. And the list went on…
With lots of hard work we were able to find different organisations for each item, but it was extremely inefficient and troublesome to arrange, and one item each is hard for any organisation to justify a pick-up, so we would have to deliver some (the all-in-one printer was really heavy and hard to transport). And no one was willing to take the server battery off our hands. We finally came across the Caritas-HK Computer Workshop. They said they would take it all (ink cartridges/toners included) and destroy the hard drive before recycling so any sensitive data on it was no issue. If the hard disk was reusable, “The formatting procedure is carried out by a programme written under US Dept of Defense 5220.22-M standard to ensure all data is erased. The formatted hard disk will be reused for a newly assembled PC to people in need”. They even took the server battery off our hands. It was all arranged by e-mail and everything was picked up in about 3 weeks from our initial contact.
Since then we have had a great relationship, and at the end of the last year they officially recognised us as a donor by placing our logo and company name on their official donor page. Their diversity in recycling and service is impressive. On top of it all, their contribution to society is amazing. Whatever they can refurbish, they provide to the less fortunate, schools, and welfare service organisations. The rest they recycle, and best of all, they provide employment to those who need it in the process (they hire and train the unemployed). If you have anything computer related to recycle, you can contact them directly or get in touch with us and we will gladly pass you our contact from the Caritas-HK Computer Workshop, and please like them on facebook as well.