The Electronic Recycling Association improves digital accessibility by donating refurbished computers to charities
(This story is sponsored by the Electronic Recycling Association.)
While the pandemic disrupted our lives and added a couple of inches to our waistlines, it also brought some positive changes. Apart from providing us with the time to conquer baking a sourdough loaf at home, it forced countless companies to implement remote work for employees.
Though the vaccine rollout is well underway, many Canadians have no intention to return to their company’s office after the pandemic ends. Chatting with coworkers by the water cooler is fun but it doesn’t beat wearing sweatpants 24/7 and skipping the daily commute. Because of this, businesses have been looking to downsize their physical office space in order to save money.
With downsizing comes a lot of displaced office electronics, which can be harmful to the environment if thrown into the landfill. The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is a Canadian nonprofit organization that offers simple solutions to businesses looking to get rid of any operational office equipment.
The ERA seeks to promote sustainability and reduce the amount of e-waste in Canada through reusing and recycling. It’s also actively bridging the digital divide by providing the refurbished electronics to charities that work with less fortunate communities.
Electronics that have already reached the end of their life cycle will be recycled in a way that is responsible and environmentally friendly. Any functional computers and laptops get donated to other nonprofit organizations like United Way, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Centre for Newcomers.
“Due to the pandemic, computers are at a higher demand now than ever before with a greater number of people unable to afford one,” says Julia Armstrong, Marketing and Donations manager at the ERA. “Your preloved laptop that you no longer use can have a huge impact in the life of a student, senior, newcomer, or charitable organization.”
Along with becoming part of the circular economy and helping others, the nonprofit ensures that any personal data is wiped from each device before it is recycled. The ERA’s data security guarantee saves busy IT staff plenty of time and effort. Taking it a step further, the ERA also prepares inventory reports of the retired assets, which includes hard-drive serial numbers, make, model, and tag numbers.
Last year, the ERA initiated a scholarship program to give students the opportunity to win up to $10,000 by hosting an e-waste collection event. Students became involved in their community, gained organizational and marketing experience, and built up their résumés. The program was such a success that it will take place again this year.
The ERA serves small, medium, and large businesses, and has recycling depots in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Toronto. The nonprofit will also responsibly recycle or donate any unwanted personal electronics from people living within these communities.
If your company is downsizing office spaces or looking to update its electronics, click here to book a pickup. For more information on the ERA and its charitable initiatives, visit www.electronicrecyclingassociation.ca/.