Friday, November 16, 2007

Computer repair company finds unique way to go green

Since computers have become mainstream, most of us have become familiar with hard drives crashing or internet signals dying. News 3's Robert Santos shows us one company that provides relief for computers and the environment.

When there's a computer emergency at Phil Sameroff's home he calls Chad Stone to the rescue. "I've had no problems with viruses or anything but now I can't get on the internet," Phil explains.

A computer tech by trade, Chad started his own business two years ago and called it PC 911. It's a company that not only revives computers, but is helping to save the environment as well.

So what is it about PC 911 that's eco friendly? Well, for one, Chad uses old ambulances to drive around town and run his business. Secondly, every single one of these ambulances is run on 100 percent used vegetable oil.

"It was really difficult to work out of a pick up truck," Chad explains. "I was trolling through eBay looking for some kind of work truck affordable for our business. And I saw an old, old used ambulance."

It was perfect for the computer store on wheels he wanted. An ambulance comes with everything he needs including cabinets and compartments for every tool and supply and even a stretcher.

"We'll carry 10 or 12 boxes of wiring. With a hand truck, that's three or four trips. With a stretcher, it's literally one person can handle it," Chad said.

In addition to reusing old ambulances, Chad feeds what's normally a diesel engine with recycled vegetable oil donated by restaurants. First, Chad must strain all the food and fatty particles out, so he strains the veggie oil by using a $1,600 sifting machine. Once the black oil turns a golden brown, it's ready to be pumped into his fleet of ambulances.

On a typical day, PC 911 responds to up to a dozen residential calls and up to 10 business calls. And one way clients know the crew has arrived it the occasional smell of french fries, hot dogs and other food in the air.

Chad paid anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 for each one ambulance.