A new byte at life


A small computer business in Blackburn is giving old computers a new life in overseas countries.

What started as a big problem has turned into a great blessing for many teachers and students here and overseas. Steve Polgar and his staff at Stev-Computer once wasted a lot of time and effort disposing of broken parts, computers and laptops but then realised that there was a ready need for computers in under-privileged and overseas countries. They also assisted schools in flooded Queensland in 2010.

Older working computers are donated and then stripped down; all personal data is removed and destroyed or returned to the owner if required. They are then fitted with new hard drives and other needed parts and fully tested ready for shipment. Finished computers are usually stored in warehouses in Clayton or Bendigo and the cost of shipping is usually donated through various sources as are costs of replacement parts and components.

Owner Steve says “the more affluent a society becomes, the greater the ‘throw-away’ factor, and many good and useable items are simply discarded just to have the latest model. Our old computers are virtually gold to students in underdeveloped countries.”

Steve filled his seventh container which departed for the Republic of Congo in mid-October with 1100 computers and laptops and printers on board. Some printers are used by women in micro businesses which generate enough to feed their family simply by charging a small fee for printing or scanning. Steve reminds us that “every member of our community is able to help in some way with workable e-Waste by donating working laptops and computers and/ or donating funds” for Container No. 8 (each container costs about $10 000 to send). If you would like to assist contact Steve or Ian on 9878 9818 or 0417 338 704 or stevpc@tpg.com.au