UB's Computer Recycling Effort Helps Outdated Equipment Avoid The Landfill, Benefits Needy Students

Release Date: October 1, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It's the University at Buffalo's high-tech twist on the automotive "chop shop," a home for orphaned and dysfunctional computers where they are made whole again and put back to work somewhere in the university.

Since 1996, UB ROCS (University at Buffalo Recycles Old Computers) has rehabilitated 369 computers and related equipment.

It's environmentally correct, the program coordinators point out: Each piece of equipment rescued is one less in a landfill.

And the program also benefits needy students who cannot afford to purchase a computer.

Staffed largely by students, UB ROCS recently got a boost with a donation to the university by Rich Products Corp., the family-owned, Buffalo-based frozen-food company, of more than 100 used computers.

The company contributed the computers in response to UB's announcement that starting next fall, all freshman entering UB will be required to have access to a computer.

With new machines running at least $1,000 each, the university is unable to provide computers to all students who can't afford them, said Hinrich R. Martens, associate vice president for computing and information technology.

"Instead, we will be relying on generous gifts like this one from Rich Products, as well as on our own ability to recycle and refurbish machines," he said.

Robert E. Rich, Sr., chairman of Rich Products, said he hopes his company has begun a new trend in Western New York.

"We hope that other companies in the Buffalo area will consider donating their used computer systems as they continue their technological advancements in their own organizations," he said. "Technology that is no longer being used by a company still has considerable value to a young person at the university."

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