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Recycle a computer, create a job through Hope Tank

A Blue Star Recyclers employee works on a computer.

Recycle 16 computers in one day and create job. That's the latest project from Hope Tank, launched Jan. 4, to recycle 16 computers every day in January. That's enough work to create a job at local organizations Blue Star Recyclers and PCs for People. Both nonprofits create jobs for people with disabilities and provide refurbished computers to low-income people.

It's an ideal time, the season of giving might be over, but people can still be beneficial, by recycling their old computers to others who can get great benefit for them. "Many of us, especially after the holidays, have computers that have become outdated and we just hold onto them because we don't know what to do with them and we're nervous about the data that is on them being protected," says Hope Tank Owner and Founder Erika Righter.

Blue Star Recyclers has already ethically recycled over 8 million pounds of e-waste, diverted more than 230,000 pounds of hazardous materials from landfills while providing above minimum-wage employment for 26 adults with autism and other disabilities. It's also creating $800,000 in taxpayer savings by reducing Social Security payments to those with disabilities.

"These guys will wipe all the data, and give the computer either an environmentally respectful 'end of life,' or they will give it a whole new life, provide employment for people with barriers, and help those who most need computers in our community," Righter says.

Hope Tank is a local retail store that's dedicated to positive change. A portion of the price for each item purchased in the store benefits a non-profit and many goods in the store are made by local artists or nonprofits. These nonprofits range from veteran's groups like the Art of War, to the Wild Animal Sanctuary to Colorado AIDS Project and a wide variety of other groups.

Righter says that the partners in the project are indicative of partnerships she wants to create going forward. "Blue Star Recyclers is one of our designated charities. Our customers have asked for opportunities to have deeper impact. This is a fun way to do that." Such partnerships can raise awareness of the issue and give the public more ways to become more beneficial to society at large. In this case helping those with disabilities see gainful employment and a living wage.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Read more articles by Chris Meehan.

Chris is a Denver-based freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. He covers sustainability, social issues and other topics.
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