When a computer system dies it goes to digital heaven. That is how we city folk view machines around us that die a natural death. Machines grow old, they get exposed to the elements, they rust and die. They get thrown into the piles that are weighed and sold as scrap.

Not so for various public high schools (PHS) around the country that have come under the wing of the iSchools PC Recycling project. This component of the iSchools Project helps PHS teachers and administrators extend the life of the old computers rusting in their computer labs for lack of either budget for parts or training for maintenance.

Art from Scrap
One of many products from the PC Recycling component of the iSchools project

Being taken under the iSchools Program requires that a PHS must not have been a recipient of any other computer provision program. Since this excluded quite a number of schools that could still use the training that the program provided, the PC Recycling component was established.

The point of the component was to enable schools to take their non-working old computers, disassemble and test each part, and in the end come up with enough working parts to re-assemble into working machines. Adequate training, both in lecture and hands on, are provided to the trainees to enable them to go back to their old IT laboratories and resurrect their aging computers.

To date of the 700 plus computers that have come under this program, more than 500 have been reported to have been resuscitated.

PC Recycling also addresses reuse of non-working computer parts as well as proper disposal of non-reusable computer components. Non-working parts can be used as visual aids in computer training in schools, and they can also end up in artwork such as you see in the photo at the beginning of this post. Partner State Colleges and Universities (SUC) assist in the disposal and recycling of non-reusable parts as provided for in the iSchools PC Recycling plan.

The iSchools Project, which saw light early in 2006, is on its last legs and is soon to end, but the knowledge and practices gained by all who participated in the project will be published and will remain online for other entities who wish to conduct similar projects in future.

A new lease on life for computers

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