Natalie Sherman & Simon Barfoot standing next to the Blackmore Ricotech van

More than six tons of laptops, computers and other devices have been saved from landfills thanks to local Community Interest Company, Wiltshire Digital Drive.

The team has been asking for donations to help students with their learning and to provide technology to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it. The laptops and computers they have received that cannot be refurbished and handed back out, are being fully recycled by Warminster-based company Blackmore Ricotech.

WRAP data is showing that the 6,200 kg (6.2 tons) of equipment collected and recycled in 2021, equates to a saving of just under 55,000 kgs of CO2e embodied Green House Gas emissions going into the atmosphere.

Kieran Thomas, co-director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, said: “We really are grateful for all the donations we receive. Unfortunately, some machines are either just too old or damaged for us to refurbish. Our pledge is to be 100% sustainable and we did not want them going to landfill, so the partnership with Blackmore was set up. The figures speak for themselves, having saved that amount of machinery going to waste and saving that much in CO2 emissions is amazing.”

Simon Barfoot, director at Blackmore Ricotech, said: “These stats really show the importance of recycling and reusing. From the devices we collect from Wiltshire Digital Drive, 100% of the materials recovered go back into the UK circular economy for manufacturing into new products. Gadgets that we throw away, like laptops, mobile phones and tablets are a rich source of precious metals, and by recycling them it helps offset mining of virgin material around the world.”

The recycling company will collect and recycle the machines so the precious metals inside can be used again. It operates a zero waste to landfill policy on all IT and technology equipment and will reuse, or recycle, 100 percent of the equipment it collects. The useful reclaimed elements are then sold, with the money raised used to help benefit communities in the Southwest through Blackmore Ricotech’s own initiative, Donate IT as well as funds going back to Wiltshire Digital Drive’s sustainability.

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