Recyclemac.wordpress.com is now recyclemac.org – either will work but the “primary” URL is now much easier to use. Thanks to everyone for following us! There’s lot to talk about so stay tuned. 🙂
I took a look back at this blog and realized we’re closing in on six months since we got RecycleMac started. MacRecycleClinic was reestablished earlier than that, of course (after a two year hiatus). But it feels like we are really only now getting everything finally back together. It’s taken awhile to get the word out – we are finally starting to get more customers (guests/patrons/Mac aficionados) and making some progress on some other projects like the Mac Lab at Marvin and making community contacts.
We have added more shelving to the office space to get our refurbished computers off the floor. We donated a Mac laptop to the Blair High School AfterProm Committee for senior Daniel Naval to take to college. And we’ve helped some wonderful people get their Macs working again. Our agreement with the county to take Macs that would otherwise be recycled at the Shady Grove facility is also starting to bear some fruit – we find there are parts we can use if nothing else. The other day, a machine came in that had no memory or hard drive, but the Airport Extreme wireless card had been left in! It was easily the most valuable part.
We continue to look for ways to work with the Silver Spring and Montgomery County communities to get computers into the hands of folks who don’t have them. We remain open to suggestions and will gladly take referrals from non-profits who feel someone they work with could use a computer. In many cases, we can also provide a printer so there’s a complete solution (just provide the Internet and ink cartridges!)
We look forward to the future as we are able to make more alliances and get the word out that MacRecycleClinic can, in a small way, make a difference in our community.
MacRecycleClinic is a small group – with a collective big heart. We are all volunteers but like many who care, we put a lot of time and effort into what we do. We care about the environment and want to play a part – admittedly a small one – to help folks continue to get good service out of computers that others no longer want or need.
The fact that we only work with Macintosh computers is a benefit of the job. We’re also passionate about Apple products and from long experience, we know they will provide years of good service with just a little loving care.
So when Jessica Snow – a college student who cares deeply about the environment – came to us, we were happy to work with her. Jessica – a former blogger for the Examiner newspapers – needed something portable and easy to care for. A MacBook was the answer.
Thanks to the Patch’s Ben Gross for visiting MacRecycleClinic’s Monday Night Clinic a few weeks back. His article appeared online and starts:
According to the EPA, between 2005 and 2010, more than 250 million computers became useless, with less than 10 percent of them being recycled. In fact, more than 85 percent of the computers “thrown away” wind up in landfills.
At the same time, many individuals and families lack the financial resources to have a home computer. One local company has found a way to address both problems at once – Silver Spring’s MAC Recycle Clinic.
(The Patch got a little excited with the caps – but we’re thrilled to have the story out there!)
If you’d like to read the entire story – the URL is: http://bit.ly/fo9KqX
News reports this week have Apple hiring a composites engineer named Kevin Kenney (who has consulted with Apple and has expertise with carbon fiber bicycles). Carbon fiber is a terrifically strong and lightweight layered material that would likely be a good replacement for the aluminum the company now uses for its laptops and i-devices. You can read more about it in Apple Insider and 9 to 5 Mac among others. Of course, a Google search also indicates that Apple has been testing carbon fiber for a long time and even filed a patent in 2009. But the real question for those of us who have to deal with older machines is – can laptops or idevices with cases made of carbon fiber be recycled as e-waste?
I have been thinking about putting together a “Computer Recycling Guide” for everyone – talking about the best ways to prepare your computer to either recycle it as e-waste (by taking it to the Shady Grove Transfer Station here in Montgomery County for instance) or finding someone to donate it to (like MacRecycleClinic or other recycling organization). But in a very brief moment of inspiration, I thought why not let you help me do this? Let’s give you the power to contribute to something we can all use. In fact, it’s something we could distribute here and through our MacRecycleClinic.org website.
You don’t need to answer all of the questions – even one is beneficial. It just needs to be based on your own experience no matter where you are. And the answers can be short too. Links are welcome of course. We’ll gather them all together, combine, edit and format – and repost it here on RecycleMac for all to enjoy. And although we are focused on Macs, if you have great tips for the PC side, we’ll be happy to have them as well. Just put your tips in the comments for this posting(which follows) and we’ll take it from there. Or if you’d rather, shoot them to me at dottalini at macrecycleclinic.org.
Here are the questions:
- How do you know it’s time to replace your old computer (see earlier post here but I want your thoughts);
- How should you prepare your Mac or PC for recycling or donation;
- Are their pieces of the older machine you can put to good use with the new one?
- What is the best software to use to get your information transferred from your old computer to your new one?
- At what point is it better to just recycle your computer vs. donating it individually to someone else or through a non-profit like MacRecycleClinic?
- Anything else you’d like to contribute?
This will be posted on our Twitter site too (we don’t have a Facebook account as of yet but I do and will post it there) but please pass this along.
Informed folks want to know! I’ve been talking a lot about what we do and how we do it but sometimes just having an actual mission statement can provide some focus for an organization. MRC is a SMALL organization mind you. We still have a number of folks who were part of the old Tuesday Night Crew as we called it at Washington Apple Pi (WAP). Over the time we were “in the wilderness” and without a home, we did lose a few friends.
We hope that as we reestablish ourselves in our new location at Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, others interested in helping will step forward. And of course we could use some customers too! We survive thanks to your donations. Come join us! Read more…