Wednesday, April 16, 2008

PC Qik Turns Old PCs Green

In Painesville, Ohio, offices at New Directions for Living used to get computers as a donation. As years passed, it became a mounting problem for the officials there to dispose of them properly when new equipment was acquired. Fortunately, a company in Painesville, called PC Qik, has come forward to help New Directions.

Thomas Wallace, CEO of PC Qik, has spent two years educating people on ways they can discard old computers. Wallace built a multilayered computer recycling program for this disposal process. Executive director of New Directions, Betty Jurkowski said of the computers, "We’re not going to disguise them in trash bags; Wallace helps us dispose of them the right way, which is what we want to do."

The disposal of computers actually includes a plan to find out whether the retrieved computers from individuals, businesses, and organizations like New Directions can be salvaged. If a PC can run Windows 2000 or higher, it could wind up in a pair of grateful hands.

"Somebody else’s garbage may be something that somebody else can use," Wallace said.

Wallace hasn’t designated a specific price for his refurbished computers, but said he prides himself on recognizing individual situations and working with people to get them a deal at "little to no cost." To prevent long lines of people looking for free PCs, Wallace has limited the distribution portion of the program to individuals through agencies like New Directions, preschool programs, churches, and other community initiatives. He is in talks with the county’s Council on Aging and its recycling program.

"It’s really good to see that people can be occupied with computers they’ve never seen before," Wallace said. "They can go job hunting, or if one isn’t feeling well, they can keep them occupied, or can help go places and do things."

PC Qik also will help pick up old computers from the homes of senior citizens and the disabled for free.

Wallace believes that now is a very good time for this recycling program to take shape with green and energy efficiency concerns growing in every corner of the world, and discarding old computers certainly presents a major environmental challenge, especially in light of the rapid pace of innovation and the resultant upgrades, both in the business and consumer worlds.

Wallace uses a government-approved program to erase and/or reformat the hard drives of both the computers that will be refurbished and those that will not be used again. Reusable computers will be upgraded with legal software, like the free Open Office Suite, developed by Santa Clara, Calif.-basedSun Microsystems.