Bristol has a well-established reputation for taking environmental issues seriously. Many of the UK’s key environmental organisations, including the Soil Association, Sustrans, Schumaker UK, Environment Agency, BBC Natural History Unit and the CREATE Centre for Sustainable Development, are based here.
Green issues were a recognised strength of the recent Connecting Bristol Digital Challenge bid, so it is no surprise that environmental technology projects are starting to flourish across the city. One of the first of these initiatives is being run by Bristol Wireless and Byteback Computer Recycling and aims to provide local people with inexpensive recycled PC’s.
Sam Rossiter of Bristol Wireless says, “One of the great things about the Connecting Bristol project is that it has brought together lots of interested parties and one of them is Byteback computer recycling. We have since developed a strong working partnership with them, supplying recycled and refurbished computers to the local community. ”
“One of the founding principles of Bristol Wireless”, continued Rossiter, “has been to extend the life of computer hardware and in collaboration with Byteback, we are now able to offer the public fully functioning, refurbished PCs for the ridiculous price of £50”.
All the machines have a thorough health check before being installed with a Debian Linux operating system, featuring a recommended set of software to cover most users’ needs, including office tools (word processing, presentation, spreadsheets and page layout), graphics internet applications, multimedia (audio and video) programs and games. The individual machine specification may vary, but they come with a minimum of a Pentium III processor, with a decent-sized hard drive, 256 MB of memory, 17 inch monitor, keyboard and mouse.
Even though computer hardware prices are at an all-time low, there are still plenty of people who want a really low-cost machine, according to Bristol Wireless. The machines are ideal for introducing kids to computers and despite being so cheap they are powerful enough to do more sophisticated tasks. Bristol Wireless has been working hard to ensure a steady supply of machines.
Linux has lower system requirements than some other operating systems and can therefore extend the working life of hardware which would otherwise be discarded. In the UK over a million tonnes of electrical and electronic goods are discarded each year.
By offering refurbished machines, Bristol Wireless is helping with the aims of the European WEEE Directive by reducing the waste arising from electronic equipment and encouraging its reuse, recovery, recycling and sound environmental disposal.
Stephen Hilton, Director of Connecting Bristol says “It is fantastic to see this project get off the ground, and as we move forward in developing a digital strategy for the city this is exactly the kind of project we aim to support.”
People interested in a machine or wanting more details can call 0117 325 0067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org