Reboot Vancouver is a social purpose enterprise, active in the field of refurbishing, repair, and redistribution of redundant or discarded computers. Reboot visions that all discarded and unused computers will eventually go through a rigorous process that will assure each computer system will first be screened to see if it can be repaired and reused by another person. If it cannot be redeployed in working condition then it will be dismantled and the parts will be separated and re streamed to be reused in an industrial process that continues to support the idea that nothing ends up in the landfill.
Reboot provides services in two main categories of redistribution and recycling. Redistribution of used computer systems has been an under used option in the E-waste recycling chain. The first action with all of the systems it handles is to assess the computer systems redistribution value. If the system is a duo core CPU type computer or better and is reusable and/or repairable, an operating system and basic applications are loaded and the computer is sold at low cost. Target markets are low income individuals and families, social service agencies, and small businesses which would not ordinarily be able to afford a new system. If the computer system is an earlier model it will be recycled to ensure none of the component pieces end up in the landfill.
Reboot's vision and goals are validated and reinforced in a document titled British Columbia Stewardship Plan for End of Life Electronics published in August 2006 by Electronics Product Stewardship Canada and the British Columbia Electronics Advisory Committee states in its Executive Summary:
"This stewardship plan has been developed in response to the amendment dated Feb 16 2006, to the BC recycling Regulations of October 4, 2004 adding a schedule for electronics waste management. The schedule specifies that a stewardship plan is required to show how industry proposes to divert end of life computers, computer monitors, desk top printers, and televisions from the landfill through the promotion of reuse options and through collection, transportation, processing and subsequent recycling of products at end of life."
Management and key stakeholders agree that by utilizing a proven model , Reboot creates an enhanced community owned redistribution and recycling system that has had an immediate positive impact on the redirection of E-waste away from public and private landfills.
To date Reboot Vancouver has secured a growing list of committed Not for Profit agency partners in areas of economic distress within Vancouver and the GVRD. These include:
Hastings Community Centre
Mount Pleasant Community Centre
Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
Kiwassa Neighbourhood House
RayCam Cooperative Centre
Broadway Youth Resource Centre
Britannia Community Centre
Vancouver Native Health Society
The Carnegie Centre
Strathcona Community Centre
Thunderbird Community Centre
Vancouver Eastside Educational Enrichment Society
These agencies welcome new innovative programs that help equalize the opportunities for low-income families, children, youth adults and seniors in their community service areas. Many community organizations have sites that provide access to computer use and training resources. The organizations see the potential to greatly enhance access to new technology to the less advantaged, increase the useful life of computers that presently are discarded to the landfill when companies and individuals upgrade.
Children of low-income families for instance have limited access to computers, often only via a curriculum directed school program. The Education Institutions operational policies and hours often mean children receive very restricted access. Additionally, parents of these children are often unable to support their childs participation as they are financially unable to afford the equipment in the home, and may be totally unfamiliar and in some cases intimidated by its perceived complexity. This is also true for many low-income youth, adults and seniors. Refurbishing and redistribution of these computers into individual homes will enhance the ability of individuals to participate and compete more equally in society.
Reboot has experimented with this concept and has seen the potential for success through a pilot initiative operated successfully in partnership with a variety of other NGOs in 2002-2003. During that time period, the City of Vancouver recycled four thousand computer systems through a community coalition. 75% of the systems were re-distributed to low income families and NGOs through out the Province and with NGOs outside of Canada such as the Philippine school system, the Cuban school system and NGOs in Mexico and Africa. Based on this experience, We are confident we can achieve our goals of working toward a self-sustaining economic model while effectively serving our target client groups within one year of full operation.