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Date Posted:09/25/05 6:59 Author Host/IP: 222-152-199-50.jetstream.xtra.co.nz/220.127.116.11
The proximity of Hackney, one of London's most deprived boroughs, to the city, its richest, is being turned to advantage by Cybercycle, an enterprising not-for-profit organisation. Rich city firms are constantly updating their computer equipment, and consequently throw out quite a lot of superannuated but still serviceable hardware. Cybercycle, as their name implies, collect and make use of this equipment and have built a remarkably nourishing 'food chain' on material that would otherwise have ended up in landfill sites.
Established in 1996, the project is partly staffed by volunteers who work alongside trained engineers and receive valuable work experience refurbishing the dumped equipment. The refitted computers are then sold at cost to a growing client list of charities who might not otherwise be able to afford computer systems. Everything is recycled as fully as possible, with really redundant equipment getting passed on to a company in Sheffield that pulls out the chips to make toys in Korea, and sells the scrap.