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September 2007

Goodwill hits one million pounds of computers recycled

Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh celebrated a major milestone - the recycling of one million pounds of electronic parts and equipment.

Located in an 80,000 square-foot warehouse facility located in the city’s Lawrenceville section, the Computer Recycling Center (CRC) processes thousands of donated computers annually. Some are refurbished to be sold at Goodwill’s computer store but most are “de-manufactured” to remove valuable components and precious metals that can be sold as salvage materials.

Since September 2006, Goodwill’s CRC has managed a workforce development program as part of a joint venture with the City’s Pittsburgh Partnership and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services to help welfare recipients comply with federally mandated employment guidelines.

Under the program, up to 100 welfare-to-work participants can be employed daily at the CRC to de-manufacture donated personal computers and related hardware into component parts for subsequent salvage operations or resale as refurbished computers. Through July 25, a total of 264 individuals have been referred into the program, and a total of 16,872 work hours have been recorded.

The one-year workforce development partnership began September 11, 2006, and has been extended for another year by the city and county.

Goodwill’s involvement in computer recycling grew significantly last year through a new commercial partnership with Dell, Inc. The alliance with Dell, called Reconnect Pittsburgh, is a comprehensive computer recovery, reuse and environmentally responsible recycling program that takes advantage of Goodwill’s donation and retail infrastructure and the recycling experience and resources of Dell.

Under the Reconnect Pittsburgh program, Goodwill collects donated personal computers and transfers selected parts and equipment to a product recovery partner to be refurbished and resold with proceeds coming back to Goodwill. Equipment that cannot be reused is disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

As of July 25, Goodwill had de-manufactured a total of 10,568 personal computers and recovered and shipped over one million pounds of parts and equipment to a Dell approved downstream recycler.