We have talked in the past about how much more difficult it is getting to recycle Macs, and frankly many other PC brands – especially laptops.
Now word that the upcoming MacBook will be even worse. A beautifully thin machine glued together with a battery that literally can’t be replaced. Shredding is not even an option.
This article by Huffington Post Reporter Andy Campbell tells the tale. But it reflects what we continue to see at the Clinic. We are only accepting and working on Intel machines now, so we are already having to deal with issues of machines that – for example – might only need a new hard drive, but it’s just too difficult to open up to replace. And that means it is harder for us to meet our goal of getting perfectly good machines back to folks who need them.
Frustration, thy name is increasingly Mac.
The Huffington Post article can be found here:
Apple’s Next MacBook Will Probably Be Terrible For The Planet
Always great to hear these kinds of stories that we can pass along to our Recyclemac readers.
This one comes from our own Jim Ritz – a long-time member of the MacRecycleClinic and the old Tuesday Night Crew at Washington Apple Pi when the club had a physical office in Rockville.
Recently one of (MRC volunteer) Phil Marchetti’s clients said she had an old iMac that was of unknown status. She asked Phil if he could fix it and maybe she could pass it in to her handyman who couldn’t afford to buy a computer.
Phil said it worked but needed ram and who knows what else. Hearing the specs I knew we had ram of the type it needed. We increased the ram from 256 MB to 2.0 GB and installed the latest Mac OS that early Intel could handle and passed it on. The client gave MRC a donation as well.
This was a Win, Win, Win situation for all involved!
It is what MRC does.
We’ve finally made it to Craigslist – a great way to get a free message out there that MRC is alive and well. We’ve continued to meet weekly at Marvin Church and have been busy helping folks, recycling older Macs by tearing them down into their components and refurbishing Macs for donation or sale (yes, we do sell refurbished Macs).
Here’s the ad you can find on the Maryland Craigslist page – “All Services Listed” -> Computer Services.
Craigslist interface is still pretty basic but they do allow you to add photos and a map these days, which can make a huge difference.
The Washington, D.C. non-profit group Critical Exposure is celebrating it’s 8th annual spring exhibit – Zoom In: National Lens, Local Focus. We are thrilled that they are using Macs donated by MacRecycleClinic for the exhibit, which features photography and writing by D.C. youth who are creating real change in their schools and communities.
The exhibit is at the Pepco Edison Gallery at 702 8th St. NW (a block from the Gallery Place metro).
Posting this letter from Blair High School (Silver Spring, Md) PTSA “Prize Patrol” chair Christine White for the school’s popular After-Prom celebration. MRC donated computers and other prizes for the celebration – designed to keep students safe and secure after their Prom.
To Dave Ottalini and the MacRecycleClinic,
Thank you so much for your generous donation of two refurbished laptops, satellite radio and digital bank for this year’s After-Prom. We always know that the laptops are going to make a couple of Blair kids unbelievably happy (and this year is no exception!) but you’ll also be happy to know how incredibly popular the satellite radio turned out to be, with more than a hundred kids anxious to compete for the radio in our mini-raffle!
Extremely generous contributions like yours from friends and family of our Blair community are what makes the After-Prom festivities such a huge success, and what keeps our kids safe and healthy on the one night every year that our hardworking teens look forward to spending a fun and entertaining night together celebrating the many memories and good times of their four-year high school experience!!
We know how challenging it can be to juggle all the many worthy community causes that you service as part of the MacRecycleClinic, so we definitely want to let you to know how much we appreciate your continued support over many years to our students at Blair. Thank you again.
– And thank you to the Blair PTSA for the volunteer work all your parents contribute to the school (and to all parents frankly who give so much to their own school’s PTA/PTSA organizations – they all do good work!)
MacRecycleClinic has been working for a few weeks to get a number of PPC towers ready for a Washington, D.C. based non profit called Critical Exposure.
We found out about this non-profit that “teaches youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change” through Bethany Swain, a former CNNer and current lecturer at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Bethany’s students have gone to Critical Exposure’s offices to mentor their students. One of the Merrill Journalists as they are called, Louie Dane, wrote a retrospective for the Merrill News website.
When we get a request like this – the first questions we always ask at the MacRecycleClinic is what do you want to DO with the computers and what software would you LIKE to have. The answers to those questions provide the focus we need to put together the “package” they receive.
In Critical Exposure’s case, their students want to do multimedia – video, photo and audio editing. So on top of the “regular” OS X install we do, there were some additional things to add. Since none of these machines can go higher than OS 10.5.8, we had to make sure that the software we included could work with the last PPC Tower from Apple before the company moved to Intel. We would have loved to provide Intel machines with Final Cut Express (donations welcome), but folks are holding on to their Intel towers these days because Apple has not come out with a new update in quite a while. And FCE is hard to come by in numbers (Apple no longer offers it in fact).
That said, these machines run a good, stable and powerful version of the Mac OS and are very capable computers for what Critical Exposures students would like to do. There may be issues with third party software – Flash, Adobe Reader, etc. but not enough to make that much of a difference. These machines are ignored by hackers as well – one less worry.
We’ve hit January yet again and MRC continues to move forward with its goal of recycling and refurbishing Macs. Over the past few months, we have started moving away from most of the older PPC models save the newest and fastest model G4s and G5s. Interestingly, one of the predictors here are Macs that use the original Airport card. Turns out they are becoming incompatible with newer wireless systems – they are not able to provide the higher level of security these new wireless systems demand and won’t let the Macs log into the network. That said – if you need an original Airport or Airport Express let us know – we have many for sale inexpensively!
We’re starting to see some Intels coming in finally but many have had hard use or were damaged when picked up. So we have continued to gather equipment and then try to make one good machine from 2 or more that are damaged.
We’ve continued to donate machines to local school students and families in the Silver Spring area and remain open to recommendations from school counselors or non profits. Recently, we gave a machine to a 6 year old who is being home-schooled. He and his mom took a cab and buses all the way over from Landover to pick up their iMac. We are planning once again to provide laptops to Montgomery County Schools in the Downcounty Consortium for their AfterProm/PostProm parties. We were able to provide machines to every school in the Downcounty last year!
Machines that can not be salvaged are now totally disassembled (to the extent that they can) and are recycled both to a third part recycling company or back to the Montgomery County Government’s Shady Grove Transfer Station in Derwood.
We continue our Monday Night Clinic at Marvin Church (Four Corners/Silver Spring) from 7 to 9 pm and tho we are not overwhelmed (a good thing!), we have had a steady stream of folks coming in for help. Some folks have sick Macs, others are looking for help transferring their data from an old machine to a new one. We’re here to help! And trust that we will tell you if we can’t repair something as well.
One frustration remains the Mac Lab we set up at Marvin for use by students or the community – it just sits there unused at the moment. We are hoping the folks at Marvin can find a way to get some adult supervision in the afternoon so the lab can be used.
Please let us know how we can help! We have folks with many, many years of experience who are willing to do things Apple and local businesses are unwilling to do (because it is not cost effective for the most part). As a non-profit, we simply ask for a donation for our time – all the money goes to MRC since we are all volunteers.