In 2003, The Temple University Computer Recycling Center began as an initiative that aided in
the disposal and redeployment of the unused university technological equipment with hopes of creating a
greener outlook for the way we dispose of our technology for the future. While the computer recycling center
has several goals, the mission of the computer recycling center is to, “gather old computer equipment from
around the university, refurbish that equipment if possible, redeploy the equipment where appropriate, donate
any unwanted usable equipment and lastly arrange for the proper disposal of all unusable equipment and scrap”.
Some of the subtle underlining goals of the CRC are to extend a helping hand to the Philadelphia community
and financially struggling university departments by refurbishing the existing unwanted equipment and then
redeploying the equipment out to those who would otherwise not have access to technological equipment.
An impetrative step prior to making these donations, however, is to clear out personal data from the
equipment. Data security, according to Jonathan Latko, is also a primary goal for the computer recycling center.
Now, more than ever, it is important to protect individuals’ personal information that they input into their
technology. Such information as confidential health information, personal contacts, and other classified
information can be detrimental if released into the wrong hands. The steps made on behalf of the computer
recycling center to clear out this personal data out of used equipment is valuable to, not only, the users who used
the equipment but also to the University, who could endure countless issues if they were found responsible for
releasing the information. To date, Temple’s Computer Recycling Center has donated an astonishing 15,000
computers, 13,000 monitors, 4,000 printers, and 500 scanners. Furthermore, the computer recycling center is
responsible for single handedly diverting one million pounds of technological equipment from landfills.
On June 2, 2011 I met with Jonathan Latko of Temple Computer Recycling Center to discuss a few
project ideas for the course project. Jonathan explained that he’s been working with the City of Philadelphia on
an initiative to better connect the Philadelphia community through the use of community technology labs.
Ultimately, the donations made on behalf of the CRC and the experiences of the organizations with the
technology can provide valuable feedback to those concerned about how our community uses technology and
where there may lay a technological void. The majority of the organizations that received donations are based in