Computer recycling can take many forms, providing low cost computers for the classroom and giving students hands on experience with technology.
Non-profit organizations like the Computer Recycling Center donate computers to public schools and community nonprofit organizations, and provide a place to recycle used computer equipment.
Formed in 1997, AZStRUT is a partnership between local schools and businesses, where students learn new skills by refurbishing used computer equipment. The equipment is then donated to schools and other qualified non-profit organizations throughout Arizona. Over 100 companies such as Intel, Avnet and APS currently donate hardware through the program.
AZStRUT teachers train over 500 students each year at schools across Arizona. The students are given the opportunity to work on computers and get the kind of valuable hands-on experience that companies are looking for, and the completed systems are donated to non-profit organizations such as local schools and charities.
Does your community or state have a similar program? Information for each state is available on this web site.
Like Arisona's StRUT, Oregon's Students Recycling Used Technology (StRUT) is a not for profit organization providing technology education, resources, and recycling to schools across Oregon. Their goal is collecting used technology equipment to be redeployed for use in schools or responsibly recycled. Students get involved by evaluating, repairing, and refurbishing different models of computers.
Creating a program like StRUT is a win-win proposition. Students get "hands on" experience with technology and real-world work experience. The community has an outlet for all the computers currently sitting unused in closets. And schools and the community get a source of low-cost/no-cost computers for classrooms, community centers, and more.
Maybe a service organization or after-school program would be interested in setting up a program in your area?