Tech-Takeback are an organisation that focus on the data-wiping and then reuse, redistribution and responsible disposal of technological products in order to protect our environment for the next generations to come. The pop up shops are being run by Brighton & Hove City Council; Freegle; circulareconomy environment specialists SOENECS; and computer data erasure experts EraseMyData.
The pop up shops collect unwanted tech which is assessed and all the data of which is erased to govt standards. It is then put up for adoption by Freegle, donated to various charities, or sold to people who might not be able to afford brand new tech. In any last resort cases the tech is dismantled and either recycled as materials or securely destroyed. Any tech product will be accepted in one of their Pop up tech-takeback shops. The next one of these will take place in the Spring, and the date is soon to be announced.
“Research tells us that atleast 40% of unused electronics are lying idle in drawers, cupboards and offices across the U.K. Around 78% of the electronics that do get recycled are actually re-usable which is still a mighty waste. Our Tech-takeback pop ups aim to encourage local residents to bring in their unwanted electronics for a safe and secure best next life. Being able to offer a free data-erasure process is key to the appeal, as normal routes for disposing of electronics mostly means your personal files, photos and information is also being passed on – we guarantee that all items are data-wiped before reuse or recycling takes place” – Cat Fletcher
The first of those pop ups opened for 10 days in December, was visited by 420 people who dropped off a total of 1,036 items, including 84 mobile phones, 123 laptops, 53 computers, 67 hard drives, 201 USB memory sticks and hundreds of cables – weighing a whopping 1.5 tonnes. This amounted to a carbon saving of 4.5 tonnes of CO2e – equivalent to the energy needed to produce and cook around 1,295 cheeseburgers or produce 44,440 plastic carrier bags. The second pop up, open from January 13th-21st, succeeded the first and collected 1,520 items weighing a huge 2.788 tonnes. The carbon savings equated to 9.2 tonnes of CO2e.
Cat Fletcher told us a little more about how the pop ups came about:
“The original very first Tech-takeback pop up was held at Presuming Ed’s Café on just one rainy Sunday back in January 2016. It was an idea formulated by Andy Burdon (Erase My Data), David Greenfield (a circular economy expert) and myself (Freegle director)… and 60 people turned up to spite the super-lousy weather and brought in over 200 items so we kind of knew we were onto a good thing … we had a queue coming out of the café waiting to bring in all their stuff.”
“We try to get as much as we can to really good causes after it is data-wiped places where I know the stuff will get to people who need it. We have already given 4 laptops to a local homeless support charity and will be approaching the voluntary sector in Feb to get laptops, mobiles, gadgets and IT equipment to many more worthy causes”
“We will be donating laptops to some refugee charities that are training asylum seekers who are waiting for their paperwork to be processed, so that when it is processed they’ll actually have coding or repair skills so that they’ll be employable. That’s a really lovely cause to support.”
“I’d like to emphasise that we don’t just send of a truck load of stuff to somewhere in the hope that they might do something with it. I really only give people things that they genuinely will use, upcycle or re-distribute. If that is not possible then we will arrange specialist recycling so the materials are re-used eventually.”
Councillor Saoirse Horan, deputy chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said:
“The first tech-take back shop was a massive success and we’re looking to collect even more unwanted tech to either reuse or recycle.
“We all have old or unwanted tech collecting dust in our drawers or cupboards at home. What better way to have a post-Christmas clear out than giving it a new lease of life or having it recycled?”
Tech-Takeback have already run two highly successful pop up recycling shops, and plan to run a further three in the future. The first will be in the Spring, then one will take place in the Summer and the final one is set to take place around Black Friday. The final shop hopes to collect the waste of Black Friday sale consumers, encouraged to splurge on what they don’t need.
Follow them on social media for news on the next 3 pop ups
@techtakeback (Twitter and Facebook)
More info: http://www.techtakeback.co.uk/faqs