13 Jan 2021

Digital Wings working to reduce the digital divide

From Summer Times with Emile Donovan , 9:40 am on 13 January 2021

If there's one thing that became abundantly clear during lockdown, it's that there's a massive digital divide in New Zealand. 

Digital Wings is a charitable trust that gets businesses to donate their old IT gear, which is then fixed up and donated to charities and community organisations working with getting youth back into work. 

Digital Wings NZ diverted 187.3 tonnes of e-waste from New Zealand's landfills last year by repurposing computers for the community.

Digital Wings NZ diverted 187.3 tonnes of e-waste from New Zealand's landfills last year by repurposing computers for the community. Photo: supplied

The organisation has also so far diverted 397 tonnes of e-waste from landfill.

Programme director Dianne Daniels told Summer Times that corporations and government bodies routinely update their tech every two to three years.

“What I encourage them to do is donate directly to Digital Wings and I work side-by-side with Remarket Solutions who have warehouses nationwide.”

Digital Wings gets to take 30 percent of the high-end stock received to donate to charities.

“We use their high specification decommissioned gear,” she says. “They are usually i5s and above and often i7s.”

The rest is handled by Remarket Solutions which has a commitment to ethical recycling, she says.

“Digital Wings takes everything from a business - their good, their bad and their ugly and it is the good I get to gift away, or a percentage of the good, and the bad and ugly is professionally dealt with through Remarket Solutions who have a high commitment to keeping e-waste out of the landfill.”

Remarket Solutions is also certificated to wipe sensitive data from tech it receives from GCSB, she says.

The machines donated go to charities rather than individuals and have a 12-month warranty.

They aim is for charities to get at least five years out of their machines, she says.

“And then we take it back at end of life.”

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